The number of new cycle hire members fell every month between April and December 2011, according to official Transport for London and City Hall figures.
In April 2011, 4,105 new members joined the scheme but by December just 800 new cyclists signed-up. During the same period the number of cycle hires by casual users remained broadly consistent.
Mayor Boris Johnson says despite the fall in new sign-ups, the scheme “has been hugely successful, with about 150,000 current members.”
When the hire scheme launched in July 2010, Johnson promised it would herald a new era of cycling in the capital.
Last month it emerged that an internal TfL report had warned of rising dissatisfaction among members.
The report also warned that “declining scores across all measures for members suggests BCH novelty has worn off and cyclists are becoming more critical of the BCH offer.”
In May 2011 a City Hall survey suggested less the 1% of Londoners used the scheme.
The number of new sign-ups was provided by Mayor Johnson in response to a question from London Assembly Member Jenny Jones who asked: “how many new members have joined the Cycle Hire Scheme since August 2011”
Despite the continuing downward trend in sign-ups, the Mayor told Jones: “There was a huge demand for memberships when the scheme first launched, and total memberships continue to grow.”
The Mayor added: “TfL expects that new membership uptake and usage of the scheme will of course fluctuate according to seasonal and weather effects, and it would be most accurate to look at the number of new memberships and trips made over the course of a full year to appreciate this.”
Commenting on the Mayor’s answer, Jones said: “This decline, especially in the summer months, is very disappointing.
“Part of the problem might be that the scheme’s area is just too small and doesn’t cover enough streets where ordinary Londoners live. An expansion further into Zone 2 might see a healthy increase in take up.”