Watching the Daily Politics, Oona King and Portillo are having a debate about inventions - main topic, who came up with the rent-a-bike scheme in London - Johnson or Livingstone
The real question is - who went to Europe and pinched the idea?
Launched in Paris in 2007, any tourist will see them - and indeed most major northern European cities had a scheme when I went round Europe long before Boris launched our system in London
As Wikipedia states - Lyon had the breakthrough in 2005, and even Portsmouth toyed with it in the 90s
Likewise, it's been popular in the US for many years
Basically we saw a good idea and stole it - nothing wrong with that, but it's not 'innovative', nor was it our invention, it's just about in the realms of forward-thinking, that's it - don't believe politicians when they state it's a London thing, we're as behind on this one as the famously useless Ozzies
Introducing the Oyster card was somewhat more impressive - certainly wasn't the first smartcard, but it involved massive changes to a pre-existing infrastructure system, and it actually worked, the bikes just required a copy of someone else's system to be built
edit: and as any Cambridge resident will tell you - we've been practising a reciprocal bike-sharing agreement for decades, they just call it 'bike theft' everywhere else