With a month to go, TfL hopes developers can help users get most out of scheme

With exactly one month left before the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme goes live in London, the city’s Mayor Boris Johnson, has issued a call for developers of mobile phone apps to come up with ideas to help smartphone owners get the most out of the initiative.

The Mayor’s invitation follows a relaxation of the rules regarding commercial use of Transport for London (TfL) data, paving the way for developers to design apps that provide up-to-date information regarding docking stations, availability of hire bikes and routes around the city.

For now, TfL has made available example data relating to Barclays Cycle Hire locations on the TfL Developers’ Area of its website, adding that it will update details “of the location of all operational Barclays Cycle Hire locations as soon as possible.”

The Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, Kulveer Ranger, said: “This scheme is the cornerstone of the cycle revolution the Mayor is bringing to the Capital and we want to make it as easy for Londoners to use as possible. Barclays Cycle Hire has got everybody talking and app developers are already recognising the opportunities that the scheme offers. They are incredibly creative people and I’m really looking forward to seeing and using the new apps.”

TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown, added: “Barclays Cycle Hire will be the most sustainable and environmentally friendly form of public transport ever seen in the Capital. We know that it will take time for the scheme to bed in and TfL is keen to use every means at our disposal to help people as they get used to it and apps will give people information at their finger-tips. By relaxing our terms and conditions we aim to encourage developers to create innovative apps and ensure they are based on reliable and accurate information.”

Meanwhile, if you can’t wait until Friday 30 July to try out the new hire bikes, you can sign up for free cycle safety training in one of the nine boroughs that play host to the scheme, while there will also be 45 road shows promoting the scheme around the capital. Full details of both are available on the TfL website.


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.