Boris bikes are finally set to go properly south of the river Thames, as the Mayor of London and Transport for London today announced 2,000 new bicycles and around 5,000 new docking points in south-west London.
Following on from a successful Canary Wharf and east London extension to the scheme this year, the new plans for the other side of the capital are due to come in by early 2014.
Half of the new docking stations will be south of the river in boroughs including Wandsworth and Lambeth, while others will be installed in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. Some busy areas will have more docks added to existing ranks.
TfL has been working with the boroughs since last year to identify over 200 suitable locations for docking stations.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Every Londoner should be able to take advantage of our hugely popular and iconic Barclays Cycle Hire scheme which has already brought untold benefits to London’s commuters, businesses and visitors alike.
"Earlier this year we took the blue bikes eastwards towards Canary Wharf with enormous success, and this further expansion will bring more than two thousand new docking points south of the river as well as greatly enhancing the rest of the network.”
The extension to the west and the introduction of new docking stations within the existing area will increase the number of bicycles by 2,400 to around 11,000 and will deliver an additional 250,000-300,000 Barclays Cycle Hire journeys each month.
Since the launch of the scheme there have already been 15 million hires, and since the east London extension earlier this year the number of average weekday hires has increased by 50 per cent from 20,000 to 30,000 per day.
Antony Jenkins, Barclays Chief Executive, said: “In little more than two years, Barclays Cycle Hire has become an integral part of life in central London. With this further expansion, more people will be able to enjoy the convenience which the bikes provide to many thousands of people every day.”
Sadly for Boris though, the scheme doesn't yet extend as far as his gaff in Islington, meaning he'll have to rely on his own bicycle for the time being.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.