London’s planned Cycle Hire scheme took a major step forward this week with the appointment of service company Serco as main contractor.
The scheme was opened to tenders in November 2008 with planning applications for the 400 cycle docking stations submitted in April this year. To date more than a quarter of applications have been given planning permission.
Transport for London projects that more than 40,000 extra bike trips will be generated each day by the scheme which will operate in nine London boroughs and some of the capital’s Royal Parks.
Plans for a London cycle hire scheme were first initiated by former Mayor Ken Livingstone after he saw the success of the Velib scheme operated in Paris.
Apparently dropping comparisons with the Paris scheme, TfL now say the scheme “will be based on, but not identical to, the award-winning Canadian cycle hire scheme, Bixi, which launched in Montreal earlier this year.”
Serco’s Nick Brown said the company was “very pleased to have been chosen to operate the London Cycle Hire scheme.”
Mayor fo London Boris Johnson said the company “can’t wait to get cracking on helping us get thousands more Londoners on two wheels.”