London's Cycle Hire scheme is huge success, says Boris

LondonCycleHire  13280

Around 18,500 journeys a day are now being made on London’s iconic blue bikes, said a statement from Transport for London.

Less than six weeks since the Mayor, Barclays and TfL launched London’s “new public transport system”, over 80,000 people have signed up as members of the scheme, making more than 500,000 journeys between them.

While nicknamed ‘Boris Bikes’, the cycle rental scheme was actually the idea of the previous administration.

The popularity of the bank-sponsored scheme means that around 18,500 journeys are now being made every weekday by Barclays Cycle Hire bikes, despite the system currently being available to members only. On 7th September thousands of cycle hire members used the scheme to beat the strike, making a record 24,500 journeys between them.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It’s an incredible achievement that cycle hire scheme members have already made half a million journeys, less than six weeks since the scheme launched. Our glorious blue bikes have transformed the city’s streets, and are leading the charge in the two wheeled cycling revolution that is taking place in the Capital.

“Having a key to this scheme is just like having the keys to the city itself, and our pioneering members are embracing the scheme and the freedom it offers them in their tens of thousands.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Around 93 per cent of all journeys made by Barclays Cycle Hire members have been under 30 minutes, which means that the vast majority of people using the scheme aren’t paying any more than their daily £1, weekly £5 or annual £45 access fees.”

Barclays Cycle Hire is due to be opened up to casual users and visitors later this year. In the meantime, anyone who has a UK bank or credit card account can sign up to use the scheme, for as little as £4 – the total cost of a membership key and an initial 24 hour membership. People who sign up for a daily membership can choose to auto-renew, which means they can start a new 24 hour hire period whenever they want, by simply inserting their cycle hire key into a docking point and taking a bike.

Musician goes on (bike) tour

With a travel guitar and his gig gear strapped to the side of his cargobike, blues musician Martin Harley is to spend a month cycling to 27 shows, starting in Northern England.

Kicking off in Gateshead on August 20th, Martin Harley will be riding to Cornwall, stopping off at 19 venues en route. His tour ends at the cycle-friendly Eden Project, near St Austell.

Originally planned as a two-man tour – with a support rider carrying some of Hurley’s gear – the 1200-mile route will now be done solo. He will be using Sustrans’ National Cycle Network. Gig venues were booked via Villages in Action and the Rural Touring Circuit. He will be playing the Isle of Wight’s Bestival and at TV’s River Cottage Canteen.

“It’ll be interesting to see if I can complete a full tour of the country with no carbon footprint at all,” said Hurley.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m hoping it will inspire a few more people to get on two wheels to explore this great nation of ours.”

Hurley will be riding a Surly Big Dummy cargobike. This has an integral Xtracycle attachment on the rear, extending the length of the bike and greatly adding to luggage capacity.

He’s promising to recording his experiences on his blog and via a video diary.

Last year, comedian Dave Gorman pedalled to gigs up and down the country, and in America, a number of bands have toured by bike, including the aptly named Bicycle, which bike toured coast to coast from 1995 to 2000. German band, the Ginger Ninjas, travel the world by bike on their on-and-off Pleasant Revolution tour.

Hurley is already in training for his 1200-mile tour: “My training regime is strict. I ride to the pub at least three times a week and I have been doing my weekly food shop on the Big Dummy.”

Surly is an American company and supplied the Big Dummy for use on the tour.

Hurley said: “I liked the idea of having a solid unit as opposed to a regular touring bike towing a trailer full of guitars. It’s taken a bit of getting used to but considering how much longer than a regular bike it is, the handling is not that different and, even with a lot of weight on the back, it’s a smooth and precise ride.”

Tour dates and venues can be found on Hurley’s blog.

London’s Cycle Hire scheme goes live

It’s billed as “London’s newest public transport system” and this morning at 6am 5000 hire bikes were placed in 315 docking stations across the Capital. The Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available for walk-up rental later in the year; undocking currently requires membership. More than 12,000 members have signed up to date, with over 6000 keys activated online.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the hire scheme at 8am. He heralded a “new dawn” in London’s bid to become the greatest big cycling city in the world as he launched the “jewel in the crown” of London’s cycling revolution. The scheme was first proposed by the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, but Boris Johnson is keen for the pro-cycling initiative to be associated with his name.

Docking one of thousands of new bicycles at a Barclays Cycle Hire station in the shadow of the London Eye, the Mayor was joined by Marcus Agius, the Chairman of the scheme’s sponsor Barclays, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week bikes can be picked up and dropped off at stations raning from Notting Hill Gate to Wapping, and from Regents Park to Borough Market. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300 metres or so throughout the centre of the Capital, with a total of 5000 bikes available to begin with.

The bikes are already being used as political statements, with campaigners adding cutting comments to the Barclays logo.

Speaking at the launch event this morning Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the Capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses. My crusade for the Capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal powered push forwards.”

Barclays Chairman, Marcus Agius, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is a flagship scheme that will change the face of London forever. We believe there are huge benefits for the public in a low cost, affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly scheme. It will introduce thousands of people to one of the cleanest, greenest and quickest ways of navigating the city.

“An extensive transport system with good accessibility is also essential to the health of London’s economy. By improving London’s transport capacity we will help the Capital attract investment and jobs. We are committed to working alongside Transport for London to ensure that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme is successful, and are proud to be part of the cycling revolution.”

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: “We expect this fantastic new scheme to generate up to 40,000 new cycle journeys every day in London as the Capital’s cycle revolution rolls on. I have no doubt that Barclays Cycle Hire will change how people get around central London. In the week since we opened membership, more than 12,000 people have already signed up to use the scheme, which demonstrates the tremendous support and enthusiasm there is for it. This can only build as Londoners and visitors explore the opportunities having access to thousands of bicycles for just pennies a day will bring.

“A huge amount of work and planning has gone into creating what we believe will be the best cycle hire system in the world. Building on the experience of other world cities who have launched similar schemes, we and our operator, Serco, will use the first month of operation to see how, when and where our members use the scheme, to learn how we can best support our customers.”

Londoners or visitors to the Capital who want to use central London’s brand new transport system during its first month of operation need to be members of the cycle hire scheme. This will enable TfL and Serco to understand and learn from how members engage with the scheme, including patterns of bicycle usage.

A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free. To use the scheme, members will need to have received and activated their membership key.

London's Cycle Hire scheme goes live

It’s billed as “London’s newest public transport system” and this morning at 6am 5000 hire bikes were placed in 315 docking stations across the Capital. The Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available for walk-up rental later in the year; undocking currently requires membership. More than 12,000 members have signed up to date, with over 6000 keys activated online.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the hire scheme at 8am. He heralded a “new dawn” in London’s bid to become the greatest big cycling city in the world as he launched the “jewel in the crown” of London’s cycling revolution. The scheme was first proposed by the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, but Boris Johnson is keen for the pro-cycling initiative to be associated with his name.

Docking one of thousands of new bicycles at a Barclays Cycle Hire station in the shadow of the London Eye, the Mayor was joined by Marcus Agius, the Chairman of the scheme’s sponsor Barclays, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week bikes can be picked up and dropped off at stations raning from Notting Hill Gate to Wapping, and from Regents Park to Borough Market. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300 metres or so throughout the centre of the Capital, with a total of 5000 bikes available to begin with.

The bikes are already being used as political statements, with campaigners adding cutting comments to the Barclays logo.

Speaking at the launch event this morning Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the Capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses. My crusade for the Capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal powered push forwards.”

Barclays Chairman, Marcus Agius, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is a flagship scheme that will change the face of London forever. We believe there are huge benefits for the public in a low cost, affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly scheme. It will introduce thousands of people to one of the cleanest, greenest and quickest ways of navigating the city.

“An extensive transport system with good accessibility is also essential to the health of London’s economy. By improving London’s transport capacity we will help the Capital attract investment and jobs. We are committed to working alongside Transport for London to ensure that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme is successful, and are proud to be part of the cycling revolution.”

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: “We expect this fantastic new scheme to generate up to 40,000 new cycle journeys every day in London as the Capital’s cycle revolution rolls on. I have no doubt that Barclays Cycle Hire will change how people get around central London. In the week since we opened membership, more than 12,000 people have already signed up to use the scheme, which demonstrates the tremendous support and enthusiasm there is for it. This can only build as Londoners and visitors explore the opportunities having access to thousands of bicycles for just pennies a day will bring.

“A huge amount of work and planning has gone into creating what we believe will be the best cycle hire system in the world. Building on the experience of other world cities who have launched similar schemes, we and our operator, Serco, will use the first month of operation to see how, when and where our members use the scheme, to learn how we can best support our customers.”

Londoners or visitors to the Capital who want to use central London’s brand new transport system during its first month of operation need to be members of the cycle hire scheme. This will enable TfL and Serco to understand and learn from how members engage with the scheme, including patterns of bicycle usage.

A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free. To use the scheme, members will need to have received and activated their membership key.

Cycling is on the increase, shows Gov survey

Government data published this morning confirms that in 2009 cycle use increased to the highest level in decades. CTC has welcomed the results of the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey, which gives an annual snapshot of travel trends in Great Britain.

CTC Policy Coordinator Chris Peck said: “We expected that the recession, along with high fuel prices, would lead to an increase in cycling. What is surprising is that the growth is particularly associated with those in the highest income bracket, which may be as a result of the boom in leisure cycling and commuting by bike. The upward trend has been most marked in the south of England, with 8 percent of inner London residents and one in 25 workers in the South East and South West now saying they cycle to work.

“At the same time as cycling is increasing, car use is steadily falling. Expenditure on new cars is down by 13% in three years, while sales of bikes have soared by 25% over the same period.”