Category Archives: southwestern extension

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.

Space for Boris Bikes

I hope you, like me, took part in the LCC's Space for Cycling Big Ride last Saturday. Unsurprisingly, I was on a Boris bike.

Half of all the local election candidates in London ended up offering their support. Of those elected, the challenge now will be to get them to act.

Here is Andrew Gilligan's encouraging speech from the day.

Also in the news is the first competitive race on Boris bikes. I hope it takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

The current phase of expansion is nearing its end, but a few new docking stations have been sighted going in, including near Stockwell tube station. Usage this spring has been encouraging, but without a new sponsor, we may not hear of new plans for a while.

Cycling the Extension – some early thoughts

Despite the bad weather, it seems the extension has been a hit, especially in Hammersmith and Fulham. Though not everyone is happy.

And Boris biking is good for our health. I think the article is useful in pointing out that Boris bikers, despite being portrayed as inexperienced, are no more likely than any other cyclist to be involved in a collision, and that the health benefits far outweigh the small chance of injury.

So yesterday, seizing a gap in the rain, I headed west. Here are some initial thoughts:

Hammersmith and Fulham
I struggled to find a bike at first, as there are few stations in the West Brompton area, and those I did find were empty. Eventually cycling, I enjoyed the streets close to Craven Cottage and the riverside. However, Hammersmith Broadway really needs to be rethought for cyclists. Hammersmith Bridge is currently closed for cycling, so I had to push across on the footway.

South of the River
What a pity no docking stations have been installed in Barnes, though it would need the agreement of Richmond Borough. I cycled along Castelnau, took a shortcut down Rocks Lane, and headed towards the docking stations of Putney via Lower Richmond Road.

Putney has a horrible high street clogged with motor traffic. West of the high street there are no docks. But to the east, they are very high density indeed, which is good, but would have been better on both sides. A number of the streets are one-way - Wandsworth needs to adopt the practice of making streets two-way for cycling, and make better use of 20mph zones. Docking stations are however to be welcomed close to both the rail and Underground stations.

There is still much more for me to see of the new extension zones; any thoughts you might have, please leave a comment.

And I am encouraged that Southwark has confirmed that its financial contribution is available for the extension of the scheme through its streets. We await an announcement from TfL, hopefully soon, on the next phase of extension.

Today is the last day of the initial consultation on the Mayor's inner London cycling grid. While encouraging in some respects, there have been a number of criticisms, most specifically of the routes in Kensington and Chelsea. If done properly, the grid could provide safe, continuous and direct routes for Boris biking within central London.

Boris biking into 2014

As 2013 draws to a close we have news that more Boris bikes are on the way. Perhaps in 2014 we will find out where!

And in Ireland, Dublinbikes is growing.

The highlights and lowlights of 2013 in brief ...
  • January - hire fees double
  • Spring - plans advance for southwestern extension
  • May - Citibike launches in New York
  • July- flashride at Aldgate to protest at death of Boris biker Philippine de Gerin-Ricard
  • 30 July - Boris bikes celebrate third birthday
  • Summer - almost 1,000,000 trips each month, though down on Olympic year
  • Autumn - installation of new docking stations
  • December - Barclays announce end of sponsorship deal from 2015
  • 13 December - southwestern extension launched, 722 docking stations now live across London
Happy New Year to you all.

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.