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TfL says new pricing structure easier to understand - but it doubles cost of journey of 30-60 minutes

Transport for London (TfL) has announced changes to the pricing structure of the city’s Cycle Hire Scheme that it says will make it easier for people to use and understand the costs involved – although they will double the costs of hiring a bike for between 30 minutes and one hour.

The new structure, which TfL says has been devised in response to customer feedback, takes effect from 2 January 2015 as TfL reveals plans for an additional 1,000 docking points across the capital.

Under the new pricing scheme, it will cost £2 per half hour to hire a bike following the free initial half-hour hire period. TfL says that the £2 per day access fee and £90 annual membership charge will remain unaltered.

The £2 per half-hour charge will only affect a small proportion of journeys. At present, 97 per cent of trips made by scheme members fall within the half hour free period, as do 76 per cent of those made by casual users.

However, people hiring a bike for between 30 minutes and 1 hour will see the cost double, paying £2 under the new regime compared to the current charge of £1.

Hire periods of up to 1 hour 30 minutes will cost £4 and for up to 2 hours, the cost will be £6, both the same as at present.

It’s only beyond 2 hours that it will become cheaper to hire a bike under the new structure. Currently, it costs £10 for between 2 hours and 2 hours 30 minutes and that will come down to £8.

Up to 3 hours will be charged at £10 (instead of £15), up to 6 hours will cost £22 (now £35) and 24 hours works out at £46 (at present £50).

TfL added that it is withdrawing the 7-day access option since it only accounts for 2 per cent of hires.

“This has been a fantastic year for Cycle Hire, hitting record numbers of riders and increasing the number of bikes and docking stations we have,” said Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

“We’re looking forward to another bumper year ahead, as more people reap the health and convenience benefits of jumping on to one of our bikes to get around the capital.”

Nick Aldworth, General Manager Cycle Hire, added: “It has always been our priority to make the Cycle Hire scheme easy to use, and we’re acting on our customers’ feedback to make the charge structure simpler.

“After making use of the first free 30 minutes, cyclists will only have to calculate £2 for each further 30 minutes – removing any complexity and confusion. Cycle Hire is a great way to get around London, for fun or commuting.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.