Several weeks ago I wrote to members of the GLA (Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green)over my concerns about this brilliant scheme – which to be fair as an annual member I have only had a few problems with since I joined last September – but have seen at first hand the massive problems for others that exist even now.
The following was sent to me via Val Shawcross’s office and if true, will hopefully resolve the problems experienced by User’s – BUT as identified by TFL – so they could be vastly different?
“Ruzzi commented on a blog which contains a number of entries on the Cycle Hire scheme. He mentions in particular an entry dealing with software system issues. TfL was aware of the issues raised in the blog and is discussing with Serco how they can best be resolved, including by testing a software fix. I would add that all known difficulties with the scheme are regularly reviewed to ensure progress is made in resolving them. (???)
While TfL remains pleased with the overall operation of the scheme and gratified that over five million journeys have been taken on scheme bikes in less than a year, we are determined that all customers receive the high level of service which TfL expects, and Serco has contracted to provide.
To this end TfL recently issued Serco with a ‘Critical Improvement Plan’ requiring them to undertake a swift but comprehensive ‘discovery phase’ to determine the breadth and depth of the issues identified by TfL. Following on, TfL has proposed a series of actions to remedy each issue with associated timescales. The Plan was delivered to Serco on 3 June, and it is our expectation that all actions are completed by the end of July this year.”
I hope this is useful and if you have any other questions please let me know,
Andrew Miles Government Relationship Manager
Transport for London
Strategic Relationship Centre GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY
So yes, GLA members, TFL and Serco are aware of this blog and certainly the scheme’s TFL Operations Director. I have regularly asked them to hire bicycles themselves to see how not only members but also casual users frequently struggle with the unreliability of the scheme and the complex payment process, more so for more than one bike. (In 2011 who ever heard of having to insert a CC/DC into the reader a minimum of 2 times for one transaction? 3 or more if two or more bikes are required to print the release codes!)
And obviously thorough System Testing is not being carried out properly – do they have a testing docking station?
Let’s hope huge positive improvements take place by the end of July as indicated.