London Cycle Hire Scheme Announced

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has announced plans to create a new network of “quick, simple, and safe routes” for cyclists and pedestrians with a promise to “change the profile and priority of walking and cycling on London’s streets. ”

Following praise for a similar scheme in Paris the Mayor intends to introduce bike hire scheme with 6,000 bikes available every 300 metres in central London. There’s also a pledge to ensure cycling becomes a fully-funded part of the public transport network for the first time and a series of new commuter cycle routes across the capital.

As spokesman for the Mayor said the intention was to have one in ten round trips made by bike, a move which it’s claimed would save 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Speaking this morning Mr Livingstone said his aim “is nothing short of a cycling and walking transformation in London.”

“We will spend something like £500 million over the next decade on cycling – the biggest investment in cycling in London’s history, which will mean that thousands more Londoners can cycle in confidence, on routes that take them quickly and safely to where they want to go.”

“The expansion of cycling and walking will help reduce our impact on climate change and reduce traffic congestion. Around 20% of the carbon emissions savings we’ve calculated we can make from transport by 2025 will come from changing the way we travel.”.

The Mayor first voiced support for a London cycle hire scheme in August 2007 after he visited Paris for the Tour de France. Describing the Velib hire scheme as “highly popular” Mr Livingstone said he had asked Transport for London to draw up proposals for a scheme “which would meet the needs of London.”