London Cycle Hire scheme opens this week, but…

Members will be able to use bikes from Friday 30 July – but non-members will have to wait

by Martin Thomas   July 19, 2010  

Barclays Cycle Hire scheme docking station (photo: Martin Thomas)

Hot on the heels of this morning’s Cycle Superhighway launch, the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme opens this Friday – but non-members won’t be able to use the scheme until the end of August.

The scheme opens for membership registration this Friday (23 July) and launches for members a week later, on 30 July. Anyone can sign up for daily, weekly or monthly membership on the TfL website.

But the scheme was initially going to be available to all from 30 July. An Evening Standard report suggests that the delay is down to problems installing the 400 docking stations around central London. The paper says only 300 will be ready on launch day.

The Standard quotes one campaigner, Mark Ames, who runs the ibikelondon website, saying, “I'm not surprised yet I'm disappointed. The Mayor had warned us at the launch, not everything would be 100 per cent ready.

“Come September, most of the tourists and visitors to London will have left. It seems they are stalling for a while as they try to install all the docking stations around town.”

Transport for London and its contractor Serco say starting with members only will enable them to learn from how people use the scheme and cope with any teething problems.

A TfL spokesperson told road.cc, “This is innovative technology and we want to use the first month of the scheme to understand how people engage with and use the scheme. We are working to have the majority of docking stations and bicycles available for use from 30 July.”

To use the scheme on 30 July, members will need to have received and activated their Cycle Hire key, so TfL is urging people to sign up as soon as possible.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “I call on Londoners to sign up from this Friday and become pioneer members of this fantastic new addition to our transport system. I know that in time our scheme will become a new London icon and enable many more people to cycle in our magnificent city. I look forward to seeing cycle hire and superhighways working in tandem to make London a cyclised city."

A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24-hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free.

7 user comments

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"This is innovative technology and we want to use the first month of the scheme to understand how people engage with and use the scheme." Translation: This is based proven technology of similiar schemes elsewhere, but we need a limited release to gauge how much worse Londoners are than citizens of other cities. If we still have a few bikes left that haven't been vandalised, stripped, crashed, burnt, or dumped in the Thames come September, we'll let everyone have go.

BTW, well done for writing an article about cycling in London without mentioning the dreaded Barclays - oh no, now I've said it. Cue Monty Python's Life of Brian stoning scene jokes...

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
19th July 2010 - 15:34

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Hmm… so what happens if thousands of people decide they all want to be members straight away? Not that far-fetched seeing as the membership is £45… you could conceivably ride around central London free all year. Fun bikes to ride around on too as Dave and I found out last week… but more on that later too.

Sounds like we don't need to rush on the video editing Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
19th July 2010 - 15:35

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Those bikes are built to withstand 15 years of riding apparently, handlebarcam… as you say though, I suppose it's all the er, non-riding uses they are likely to be put too that'll cause the problems.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
19th July 2010 - 15:37

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15 years? Are those human years or dog years?

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
19th July 2010 - 16:29

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Even dog years might be pushing it

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
19th July 2010 - 17:49

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First 1000 to sign up get a free T-Shirt:

http://info.tfl.gov.uk/public/read_message.jsp;jsessionid=0;apw23?sigreq...

Their version of a Schwag Grab?

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
22nd July 2010 - 21:30

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Hey guys, Apple just approved our free London Cycle app which shows the locations of the cycle stations as well as providing routes from one station to another.

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/london-cycle-free-maps-routes/id383292875...

http://londoncycleapp.com/

Let's get London cycling!

posted by rishi [1 posts]
24th July 2010 - 14:28

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