Pensioners would be able to ride Boris bikes for free, under an expansion of the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme proposed today by a prospective Labour candidate.

Christian Wolmar would allow older Londoners to use their old-age Freedom Passes, which provide free bus and Tube transport, instead of paying the £2-a-day bike hire.

He vowed to expand the scheme across south London and the parts of north London, such as north Camden and Islington, where there are no docking stations. Suburban boroughs would be able to bid for hubs in their town centres. He wants bikes to be hired and returned at mainline train stations.

Mr Wolmar said: “At the moment this is very much a Zone 1 and 2 scheme aimed at ABC1s. I want to turn it into a mass form of transport that will help to reduce congestion and encourage all Londoners to get on their bikes.

“In Paris, people are able to hold onto their bikes for up to a month by paying a higher fee. That would mean they would not use expensive docking space and probably many will then eventually buy their own bikes.”