A new app-based bike hire scheme has launched in Stroud, promising to boost tourism to the town whilst providing residents with a greener option for getting around.

From this evening onwards, would-be cyclists will be able to find a bike, unlock it and pedal off using just a smartphone.

The bikes will be dotted around hubs (the Clock Tower; High Street near the junction for Kendrick Street; and King Street) and feature a sit-up-and-beg design.

The scheme is run by Oxford-based Bainton Bikes, which has already rolled out its service to Cheltenham and Cirencester. They may branch out to Stonehouse and Nailsworth - so long as things go well with their Stroud venture.

The software itself is developed by Donkey Republic (that’s what you’ll have to search for in your app store).

Those passing by the Subscription Rooms around midday would have seen the scheme’s launch, attended by members of Stroud town council and local MP David Drew.

Bainton Bike’s Howard Papworth gave a speech, thanking the town council and saying that once in a while “technology comes along that allows us to make a jump forward.”

Deputy mayor Margaret Poulton welcomed the scheme as “affordable”. A bike will cost £12 for 24 hours while a week’s use is priced at around £50.

And Mr Drew said “I wish it well and hope that it enables and encourages more people to cycle in Stroud.”

One member of the public at launch told the SNJ that, while they thought the scheme was a good idea, they hoped it came hand-in-hand with improvements to Stroud’s bike tracks and lanes.

But, Kim Cowan, a project officer at Stroud town council, argues that schemes like the cycle hire will help the council make the case for such improvements - by proving the trails are in demand.

The town council is currently meeting with local parishes to see how villages can be better included in Stroud’s existing cycle routes.

Are you planning on using the scheme, for either work or pleasure? Send your thoughts to alex.clark@newsquest.co.uk