The Barclays cycle hire scheme will undergo a significant expansion into the East End of London, it has been announced today.
And in addition to the extension of its geographic coverage, the existing network of bikes and docking stations within central London will be beefed up to provide hundreds more docking points in the heart of the capital.There is, as yet, no firm timescale for the expansion other than a commitment to having the plans realised in time for the Olympics in the summer of 2012.
The expanded area of the scheme will include all of the Borough of Tower Hamlets as well as North Shoreditch in the Borough of Hackney. People living in Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar will also see docking stations built in their areas.
Altogether 2,000 more cycles and 4,200 extra docking points will be installed across the existing and new Barclays Cycle Hire area. When complete the expanded scheme will cover 65km² of the Capital and around 8,000 hire bikes will be available from 14,400 docking points at hundreds of locations across central and east London.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners have taken to the hire of two wheels with alacrity and it would have been absolutely nonsensical not to expand our scheme. Plans are now well advanced that will see the roll out of thousands more of our gleaming bikes across the Capital’s legendary East End. For as little as 12 pence a day users will soon be able to use our bikes to cross a huge swathe of our city, and it will mean that by 2012 we’ll be able to invite the entire world to join London’s cycling revolution.”
Deanna Oppenheimer, Vice-Chair, Global Retail Banking, CEO Western Europe and CEO UK Retail Banking at Barclays, said: "It is clear that with 100,000 plus members and over 1.5million journeys since launch, London has embraced Barclays Cycle Hire. The scheme is having a profound social and economic effect on London, and the expansion will see more people able to benefit from it. This may be improvements to their health, being more productive at work or making cost savings on a cheap and sustainable mode of transport."
David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We always believed that Barclays Cycle Hire would prove to be hugely popular, but the enthusiasm with which people have embraced the scheme has been remarkable.
“We have every confidence that the expanded cycle hire scheme, which will stretch up as far as the edge of the Olympic Park and down to the Isle of Dogs, will be just as enthusiastically embraced, by Londoners and visitors alike.”
Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Ohid Ahmed, said: “The cycle hire scheme has proved immensely popular in Tower Hamlets. The additional docking stations will make cycling even easier and help improve the transport links across the borough.
“With the increasing development of the City fringe, Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, the heart of London is moving East so it’s important that this scheme expands in Tower Hamlets and beyond.”
Steve Stride, Chief Executive of Poplar Housing Association Poplar HARCA, said: “Since their launch many of our residents have been keen to see Barclay’s Cycle Hire bikes in the Poplar area of east London. The proposed new Chrisp Street Market docking station is a great news for our residents and for Londoners interested in visiting the Poplar area, the nearby Olympic site and Canary Wharf.”