DublinBike's 'great success story' as 4.5m journeys made in 2016
Bumpy roads from Luas works haven't deterred Dublin cyclists, as the number of journey's made on the DublinBikes scheme was close to hitting the 4.5m mark last year.
The bike schemes are operated in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Limerick, but the capital's scheme was the biggest success story last year.
Coca-Cola Zero DublinBikes, operated by Dublin City Council and JCDecaux, has 68,074 subscribers and facilitated 4,355,437 journeys in 2016.
There have now been close to 18 million journeys since the scheme began in September 2009, and Paul Clegg, Executive Manager for Dublin City Council, said: "We are really pleased with the way the public has embraced Coca-Cola Zero DublinBikes.
"In 2017, we look forward to reaching even more people through an expansion of the scheme catchment to Grangegorman."
Joanne Grant, Managing Director of JCDecaux Ireland, said: "Subscribers tell us they love the convenience of the scheme and we are delighted that our extensive network of stations allows people to enjoy the city in a whole new way."
In November, plans were put in place by Dublin City Council for a radical redesign of the DublinBikes scheme to bring it to areas such as Ballymun, Finglas, Terenure and Ballyfermot.
Six years ago, the council proposed a 14-stage expansion of the scheme over a five-year period from 2011-2016.
Under the plan, new bike stations would radiate outwards from the city centre, where the scheme was introduced in 2009.
Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McAuliffe said he "wasn't surprised one bit about the figures. It has certainly been one of the great success stories of the city council in recent years".
However, Cllr McAuliffe said he was frustrated with the delays in the progress of the plans to expand to the north Dublin suburbs.
"I'm going to be honest with you, it's one of the most consistent issues raised with me on doorsteps and comes up every time we do some canvassing," he said.
"It would be fantastic if we could link Phibsborough, Glasnevin Cemetery, the Botanic Gardens and Finglas with the scheme.
"We have the signage, all we need now are the bikes. So hopefully it will work out this year."
Petre Sandru, Country Manager for Coca-Cola Ireland, said "Having a great public bike scheme on your doorstep makes it so much easier to integrate cycling into your everyday routine and the statistics released today are proof of that."
A total of 4,903,851 journeys were made across the country on city bike schemes last year, with the other schemes in Belfast, Cork, Galway and Limerick also proving successful.
Cyclist are reminded to stay safe and wear high visibility clothing when cycling through the city.
The DublinBikes scheme has also been praised for being environmentally frendly.