Say what you like about Transport for London (TfL) - and most of what London cyclists say about the capital’s transport overlords is less than complimentary - they’re not superstitious. TfL has announced that the next extension of the Boris bike hire scheme to the city’s south and west will open on Friday, December 13.
The next phase of the system will formally open next week with 150 new docking stations in Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth and Kensington & Chelsea, though some stations are already operational, such as Addison Road and Evesham Street in Kensington & Chelsea, and St Martin’s Close in Camden.
Boris Bikes will be available further south and west from next Friday.
A further roll-out of new locations will continue through to next Spring with the network adding 2,000 new bikes and 5,000 docking points. Almost half will be south of the Thames.
TfL says it wall also add about 1,000 new docking points over the next few months in high-demand areas already covered by the scheme. The Boris Bike network has been criticised for peak-time scarcity of docking points in central London and bikes in outer areas.
More accurately called the Barclays Cycle Hire system, the iconic pay-as-you-go blue bikes were initially planned by previous Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, but their introduction on Boris Johnson’s watch means they’ll be forever associated with him.
The scheme opened in July 2010 and was expanded into East London in March 2012. TfL says there have been 26 million journeys between its opening and November 2013.
The extension of the scheme means that it will reach from Ravenscourt Park in the West to East India in east London and King George’s Park in the south to Camden Lock in north London. That’s a 13-mile ride, according to Google Maps, which reckons it’ll take an hour and 25 minutes. We wonder who’ll be the first to Bori-bike from one edge of the extended network to the other.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.