Planning applications submitted for London cycle hire scheme

Transport for London has began submitting planning applications for 400 cycle docking stations which will form the infrastructure backbone of the capital’s cycle hire scheme, expected to launch in May 2010.

The capital’s transport authority has been working alongside officials from the Royal Parks and nine boroughs in which the scheme will be based to identify suitable locations for the docks.

TfL says the aim is to ensure that people who wish to use or lock a bike will never be more than a couple of minutes away from a docking station.

A cycle hire scheme for London was first suggested by former Mayor Ken Livingstone after he witnessed the success of Pariss Velib scheme.

Introduction of a cycle hire scheme was also a key election promise of several candidates in last year’s Mayoral elections, including Mayor of London Boris Johnson who today said: “I pledged to deliver a cycling revolution across the city, and there is now a growing excitement about our cycle hire scheme, which will give all Londoners the opportunity to hop on a bike and experience the joys of cycling.  Much like hailing a cab, people will be able to pick up one of 6,000 bikes, and zip around town to their hearts content – not only a quick, easy, and healthy option, but one that will also make London a more liveable city.”

Figures supplied by TfL suggest the scheme, which will initially offer 6,000 bikes for hire, will generate an additional 40,000 cycle journeys every day in central London.

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport, Transport for London, promised the scheme “will be the most sustainable, environmentally friendly form of public transport ever seen in London, and will provide people with an inexpensive and convenient way of making short trips around London.”

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones says she welcomes the progress but is concerned  the bikes will not be available in train stations, “Because it is so hard to take a bike on a train in the UK, these cycles should also be available to commuters who want to ride in London but can’t bring their own bikes with them.”

Jones added: “I want to see plans brought forward for lots hire cycles in train stations as soon as possible.  If Network Rail is the sticking point, the Mayor should broker a deal, in the same way as his predecessor did over the Oyster card.”


  1. peter leach says

    Don’t forget proper training and orientation for those expected to use bicycles in and around the London network. Including car and motor cycle drivers! We dont want a sudden increase in accidents!

  2. says

    Can not believe the planners have not seen the pitfalls of this dangerous scheme.
    People from a broad who are quite unfamiliar with our roads will be the ones who will be attracted to this form of transport. This scheme will also attract those who do not usually ride bikes. I believe there will be a sharp increase in cyclist casualties with ghost bikes springing up all over the city.
    Plus if the Paris scheme is anything to go by, these bikes will disappear quite quickly.

  3. Tim says

    Thomas: No doubt they’ll use a deposit scheme of some kind to prevent thefts. It is also well-known that cycling is more safe the more cyclists there are.

    “This scheme will also attract those who do not usually ride bikes.”

    Excellent. I believe that is the point.

    This looks like a great idea as long as they make the bikes robust enough to stand up to they heavy abuse they’ll receive.

  4. TawkinSenz says

    I agree with your sentiments of Tim. Of course there will be a number of people who condemn this scheme before it even starts – but most of them are ignorant of how the scheme works.

    I have seen this in action for myself in Toulouse (France) and they didn’t have a massive amount of thefts after the first few weeks – mainly because when you flood the city with these bikes their re-sale value massively decreases making it unattractive for criminals (even your basic criminal knows how supply and demand works). They’re also not the most attractive of bikes which further discourages people stealing them. The argument that they will all end up in the canal is also thrown around with regularity – if that’s the case then why do supermarkets bother with trolleys? (of which some ultimately end up in the same place)

    Secondly I completely agree the more cyclists there are the less accidents there will be. Most serious cycle accidents involve cars – bikes crash into each other all the time and no-one gets hurt. Once again the ‘bully boy’ car drivers feel that all other road users should ‘get out of their way’ – I put this down to them not actually reading their highway code and understanding which road users have priority on the roads – and of course the extreme arrogance and frustration which tends to be brought out as soon as quite ordinary and pleasant folk get behind the wheel of a car.

    It’s funny how the first comment was about ‘training’ the cyclists – but this is somewhat hypocritical with the thousands of unlicensed drivers on the road the first thing that is brought up is the ‘skill of the cyclists’.

    I’m also not sure what a ‘ghost bike’ is – are the car drivers afraid that spectral like images of bikes will be floating around the streets of London? Sounds like someone has been on the sauce again – lets hope he’s not getting behind the wheel like that…