CYCLING champion Chris Boardman says lessons have been learned from the failed bike-sharing scheme in Greater Manchester.

After the Mobike scheme with 2,000 bikes had to be axed after vandalism and thefts across the city, the Olympian is now planning what could be the country’s biggest cycle-hire scheme.

He told transport chiefs that the proposal for the region-wide bike hire scheme – possibly the biggest in the country –  will go before local leaders next week.

“We have identified solutions that will work in Greater Manchester," he said. “We have very much considered the problems that we experienced with Mobike.

“We are on the case and I’m very confident and stake my reputation on that it will produce something that will work in Greater Manchester."

His team has spent six months looking at other schemes across the world and added: "I’ve personally examined schemes in places across the UK and across Europe.”

“It’s going to take some time, but when we are finished it’s likely to be one of – if not the biggest scheme in the UK.”

The bikes would help people get the most from the thousands of miles of interlinked cycling and walking lanes planned under his Bee Network project.

To date, 24 routes in the  10-year masterplan for  joined-up journeys have been confirmed – and a new tranche is due to be announced later this week.

Mr Boardman wants the £1.5bn network – originally dubbed Beelines – to create an environment in which walking and cycling are attractive alternatives to using the car.

He was tasked by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to develop the scheme in order to ease congestion and tackle poor air quality – as well as boost people’s health and fitness levels.

Mr Boardman told a meeting of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee that the procurement process was ‘in train and being developed so we can move quickly’.

And he said work to ensure people would be able to seamlessly move from other modes of public transport and on to the bikes was also progressing well.

“In the meantime have already started talks with all of the train stations and TfGM around tram stops, to make sure we can site these where people live, where they work, where they want to go, to make sure they can have joined up journeys,” he said.

Bike-sharing firm Mobike withdrew its fleet of around 2,000 cycles in September last year after pleas to cut vandalism and theft fell on deaf ears – landing Manchester with the unwanted distinction of being the first city to lose the service.

Mr Boardman said “It seems rather political, but it’s absolutely true that learning was invaluable  – we didn’t know what we didn’t know, and we wouldn’t have had it if that trial had not happened.

“Anti-social behaviour is not unique to Greater Manchester and practical solutions are working well elsewhere – and we know what can work here.”

The former gold medallist also hinted that the cycling revolution may not be driven by pedal-power alone.

He said: “Electric bikes are a serious consideration. It’s not what people need, but it’s what they want, and that’s more important.

“Electric bikes will almost certainly have to be part of the mix – it extends range slightly as well and makes people happier about going from one or two kilometres to three, four or five kilometres, and that’s fascinating.

“And I would not have been able to do it if we had not had the Mobike experience, because I personally would not have spotted the problem.”

The next meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is on Friday, March 29.