Category Archives: docking stations

Changes coming to Boris bikes in 2015

It's been a successful year for the beautiful blue bikes, with the highest usage since launch, and new records set. And of course it's been the first full year with the bikes out as far as Hammersmith and Putney.

The rate of change has slowed (hence less posts on this blog!) but we are promised in the coming months new docking stations on Tower Hill, in Vauxhall and near Putney Pier.

And in a new announcement, we hear that TfL will seek to install up to 1,000 new docking points in the existing area covered by the scheme during 2015 - a great Christmas present for all Boris bikers.

Hire charges will also be simplified; it'll cost £2 per extra half hour after the first 30 minutes.
Between 80 and 90 percent of users of course complete their journey in under 30 minutes.

We still await the announcement of the new sponsor to replace Barclays, but with new plans afoot, and at last plans for more protected cycle lanes coming to London's streets, the future looks bright for cycle hire in London.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Expansion to the Olympic Park

Good news that a small expansion of the cycle hire scheme has been announced into the Olympic Park. Eight docking stations will provide 320 docking points. Construction will begin in 2015 and the stations will be opened by early 2016. They will be the first docking points in Newham borough.

There has been criticism of the cycle infrastructure in the Park, but overall I think conditions are appealing enough for a good uptake of cycling in the area. The most popular area for Boris biking currently is Hyde Park; perhaps the Olympic Park will be an eastern hub of similar appeal, also providing some revenue to TfL's coffers.

The news of the extension comes after good news on hire figures during the summer months.

But still there is no news on any further extension in the south, especially to Bermondsey and Camberwell in Southwark borough. This summer TfL had promised that further sites would be sought within the existing zones to intensify the scheme. To my knowledge, none have so far been realised.

New docking stations for SW London

Three new docking stations will open on 28 July, with 78 docking points in total, on Abyssinia Rd, Limburg Rd and Clapham Common Northside, TfL has announced. This will improve access to Clapham Common and the busy shops and restaurants nearby.

Looking at a map, this will add 3 new stations towards the SW tip of the current area. One might hope that an obvious next step would be to add more docking stations north of the A3 eastwards towards Clapham Common tube station and the busy areas of central Clapham, where Superhighway 7 makes its way southwards. I have seen a new station under construction at Stockwell tube.

In a recent online Q&A session Nick Aldworth, head of Barclays Cycle Hire, said that intensification rather than a major new expansion was the current priority. There are certainly areas within the current scope of the scheme which woefully lack capacity. Expect to see more 'mini-expansions' like this one happening in the coming months.

In other news, a new sponsor is sought for the scheme.

Southwest and Beyond

So the big day came and went, without much fanfare. It's interesting to speculate as to why TfL decided to launch this extension at the darkest and bleakest time of the year - almost every day since the launch has seen rain, hardly conducive to cycling, especially the sorts who use Boris bikes. Maybe they want a gentle beginning to the extension.

Comment on the end of the Barclays sponsorship rumbles on. My own view is at the end of this post.

And dock availability is still an issue.

There is interesting news from further afield - Boris bikes have made it to Mont Ventoux and to Gambia. Impressive. Will they make it to Southwark borough anytime soon I wonder?

I posted this about Boris biking in K&C, with a few additions by my TwoWheelsGood friend.

My letter to the Standard about Barclays wasn't published, but here it is if you're interested:

Few will lament the end of the association of Barclays with the Mayor's cycle hire scheme. Despite the promise of £50m sponsorship, barely half of that has emerged. Barclays logos have been lavishly splashed across London's streets, while the bill for installing the 'Boris bikes' has in fact been left to councils, and users who have seen fares double in the past year.

If we are to learn from the mistakes of the past we must ditch the idea that essential public transport options, which cycle hire is, should be paid for by private sponsorship. We don't have the 'Lloyds Underground' or 'Virgin DLR' for good reasons. If cycle hire is worth investing in (which I believe it is) it should be funded centrally from TfL's budget, and, crucially, integrated with other transport options. In the short term this may mean Londoners pay more for the bikes, but with the result that London gains a city-wide affordable cycle scheme giving all of us the chance to travel sustainably and healthily, and, dare I say, with a bit more fun that a crowded train carriage.

Southwestern Extension – what will be new tomorrow?

I thought it would be worth posting some information about the new docking stations which will be going live - many tomorrow, the rest by Spring 2014 (so TfL promise).

Hammersmith and Fulham have published this list.

Wandsworth have this information available.

Lambeth don't unfortunately seem to have any updated information online.

TfL have published this map showing the expanded scheme in its entirety.

And a few more …

This evening 604 docking stations are live. New ones today include:
  • Hawley Crescent (Camden)
  • Hertford Road (Hackney)
  • Carnegie Street (King's Cross)
So most docking stations other than the major expansion zone (Wandsworth, H&F, part of Lambeth) are now open, though look out for a handful of further new ones in K&C.

The main news story is the end of Barclays sponsorship. Here is the Standard's article.

More new docks as Southwestern Extension draws near

Hammersmith and Fulham, and Wandsworth, are ready for the launch of around 150 new docking stations on Friday.

In the meantime we welcome St Bride Street (City of London), All Saints Church (K&C), and Duke Street Hill (Southwark) to the family. This evening there are 598 live docking stations across London.

In other news, Barclays will not be sponsoring the bikes beyond 2015. Considering the controversy of the sponsorship deal, this is probably for the best, though it will be interesting to see whether a new sponsor takes over, and what the bikes will look like in the post-Barclays era.

Boris bikes rolling out in Hackney

The first new docking stations have gone online in Hackney. I had a lovely cycle around them this afternoon - they should be popular as they are in busy areas, are convenient for commuting into central London, and build on Hackney's reputation as a leading cycling borough.

The new ones so far are:
  • Dunston Road
  • Belford House
  • Shoreditch Court
  • Ada Street
  • Victoria Park Road
And only 5 days to go until the 13 December official launch of the southwestern extension.

New docking stations – Update

Ahead of the 13 December expansion into southwest London, several more stations have gone live:

Tower Hamlets
  • Cadogan Close, Victoria Park
  • Wendon Street, Old Ford
  • Islington Green, Angel
  • Charlotte Terrace, Angel
  • Snowsfields, London Bridge
Kensington and Chelsea
  • World's End Place, West Chelsea
  • Archbishop's Park
  • Belvedere Road (extended)
150 new stations are set to go live on 13 December, mainly in Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham. We are also waiting for a number in Hackney to extend the scheme north of the canal, and a few extras in Lambeth.

The expansion comes as hires continue to fall in the existing zone. Bike availability and safety fears seem to be the main factors.

Friday the Thirteenth

Artwork on display at Central St Martins
On Friday 13 December about 150 new docking stations will go live across Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, and Lambeth. Plus a few others in the existing area. Many new stations have already gone live in Kensington and Chelsea (among the latest are Phene Street, Clarendon Road, Lansdowne Road and St Mark's Road).

This is the most exciting expansion of the Boris bike scheme since the eastern extension in April 2012. It will make the London scheme one of the biggest in the world.

Serious questions are currently being asked about cycle safety in London. For the potential of these new bikes to be realised, much more needs to be done in providing space for cycling in London. But on Friday 13th, thousands more Londoners will have access to a cheap, healthy and convenient transport option. I hope many more will switch to cycling as a result.