The scheme launched this July, almost three years after former London MayorKen Livingstone asked transport bosses in the capital to investigate the feasibility of such a scheme after being impressed by Paris’s Velib service.
Successor Boris Johnson’s administration has overseen the majority of the development and implementation of the scheme and the Mayor has become personally identified with the success of the ‘Boris Bike’ service.
The scheme, which is confined to central London, was originally open only to registered members, with Transport for London predicting at launch that it would open to casual riders “in around four weeks time”.
After several months of delays TfL is now ready to extend use of the scheme to less experienced cyclists during some of the darkest months of the year.
From 3rd December anyone with a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card will be able to hire a cycle on a daily or weekly basis at a docking station by inserting their card and following the on-screen instructions.
In an effort to eliminate card fraud, TfL are fitting “anti-skimming” to all Cycle hire docks.
In a statement Mayor Johnson said the scheme had “proved incredibly popular” was not “ready for the next stage where anyone who fancies taking to two wheels can do so in an instant with a simple swipe of their card.”