No bikes in central London

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This topic contains 63 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Matt 5 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #75011

    urban
    Participant

    This is getting ridiculous now. I’m rarely finding bikes available anywhere in the centre of town all evening. I know there is tidal flow – but that’s why Serco is paid to recirculate. Has Serco just given up?

    To get an idea of just how bad it is, here are two snapshots, one from this evening (peak hour, weekday, hot weather – so this is at it’s worst), and the second one (weekend evening, during the rainy spell earlier in May). The red spots indicate no bikes available, the yellow spots indicate only one or two bikes available.

    qNyPO.png

    YzP7V.png

    #85310

    malcolmb1963
    Participant

    I’ve noticed this recently as well – I tend to head for Euston from Broadgate 1930 onwards most nights. Often space round Euston now but even locations like Shoreditch Overground are getting sparse.

    In the mornings they are pretty thin on the ground around Euston.

    Having looked at O’Brien, it looks to me as if there is an eastward migration as the scheme has extended eastwards.

    #85311

    ozzage
    Participant

    With the weather as it is, usage seems to have jumped enormously. Unless you have a well-defined route that you know is reliable (counter-flow or outside peak time), it’s pretty risk to rely on the bikes at the moment..

    #85312

    urban
    Participant

    But that’s the thing Ozzage, the second image was BEFORE the weather got hot! It was actually a rainy Sunday night! And besides, the situation was never this bad last summer, or the summer before – when Serco were doing their job.

    #85313

    Ldnfatso
    Participant

    who’s eaten all the bikes?? I normally ride from Sun Street (Liverpool St) to Ciy Road (Angel Islington) at 8.30am and return at 5.45pm. The last 3 days i have found 2 bikes available on the way to Angel and no bikes in the opposite direction (apart from the red lighted ones that have been stuck there for days). I have also not seen the bike van who shares em about to sparse docking stations from full one’s. Its getting stupid. Is it because with the eastern extension there has not been an increase in bikes and they are all getting stuck over there? If so, give em back! :( :( :(

    #85314

    ozzage
    Participant

    Sorry I missed the bit about it being rainy.

    Not that it’s directly related, but a group of five of us went out for lunch the other day in the City (including one first-time user and two second-time users who I’d already convinced once before to try out the bikes). When we got back we had to split up, circle around for ages hunting for spots and then finally dock at 3 different docking stations so that we could all fit.

    As a regular user I’m used to that, but it makes it hard to promote cycling and the bike scheme when the end of the trip is such a drama and that’s the memory that people are left with.

    #85315

    Ldnfatso
    Participant

    Replying to @ozzage‘s post:

    this just proves that the re-distrubution of bikes is not as efficient as it should be. Who is responsible for this shambles?

    #85316

    urban
    Participant

    Directly – Serco. Indirectly – TfL, who need to keep up the pressure on these jokers. Things improved hugely last summer after TfL issued their critical improvement plan (sp?). Now things have slipped badly.

    And Ozzage, your point is related – there would have been spaces if Serco was redistributing properly.

    Ldnfatso – that’s totally unacceptable. I had a go at TfL a few weeks ago for not picking up red lighted bikes. They seemed to imply they wait for a certain number of red lights in each neighbourhood before picking them up (i.e. there’s no time limit).

    #85317

    urban
    Participant

    Replying to @Ldnfatso‘s post:

    Quote:
    I have also not seen the bike van who shares em about to sparse docking stations from full one’s.

    EXACTLY, has anyone else seen the redistribution vans lately?

    #85318

    ozzage
    Participant

    Yes – after our lunchtime adventure above the last two people were able to dock at Finsbury Square only because the distribution trailer arrived and started emptying the dock!

    #85319

    urban
    Participant

    Next time you catch one of these rare beasts (the vans, not the bikes!), fancy asking them what’s gone wrong?

    #85320

    urban
    Participant

    TfL replies, and basically quotes the Terms and Conditions at me. This isn’t an answer, as far as I’m concerned:

    Quote:
    Thank you for your email enquiry dated 31 May 2012, regarding the availability of Cycles and Docking Points during peak hours at several Docking Stations in the West End area.

    With regards to your raised issue, our Re-distribution team are currently responsible for re-distributing Cycles throughout all the Docking Stations currently in operation. The team will always endeavour to get to each station at their earliest possible time, and would always aim to meet our high expectation of customer satisfaction by delivering a first rate service at all times.

    However, there will inevitably always be periods where demand will outweigh the supply. This is why we cannot always guarantee the availability of either Cycles or Docking Points at any given location. This is explained in Condition 8.2 under Section 8 Availability Barclays Cycle Hire of the Terms and Conditions.

    8.2 During certain periods, Barclays Cycle Hire may be heavily used so we cannot always guarantee to have a:

    (a) Cycle available for use at the Docking Station of your (or an Additional Users) choice or

    (b) Docking Point available to dock a Cycle at the Docking Station of your (or an Additional Users) choice

    Be assured though that we are endeavouring to add more Docking Stations and Docking Points at various locations in the future to help to deal with this particular issue. Since the inception of the Scheme we have witnessed a huge demand for the service, far more than we expected. And at present we are looking at ways to improve this service and meet the demands of an increasingly popular Scheme.

    #85321

    jt
    Participant

    It has been very bad for the past few weeks. Soon as it got warm Serco seemed to disappear from the west end. I did see a guy at Frith Street the other day when he was checking something there but would not remove bikes to allow the people arriving to dock. Why he didn’t call his colleagues with a van to come I don’t know. Of course then finally after 5 minutes someone came to take out a bike another Boris biker just jumped in there and took the space eventhough there was a queue of people waiting. So some Boris bikers queue jumping does not help either. But seriously it was sort of ok in the winter but come summer the system is not coping at all. In the evenings there are no bikes in Covent Garden Soho Bloomsbury Fitzrovia it seems. Of course it does not help that Covent Garden still has a vast central area with no docking stations at all! Replying to @urban‘s post:

    #85322

    urban
    Participant

    Here’s what I said to them, and their reply:

    Quote:
    Thanks for the quick reply, and for explaining.

    I understand that bikes can not always be available at a particular docking station, or in a particular neighbourhood. I also understand the evening tidal flow. However, my concern is over the regular, repeated unavailability:

    -for many hours

    -almost every evening

    -over a massive section of central London

    I’d just like to know whether TfL have identified this as a problem, and whether there are concrete measures to address this.

    This is what they had to say. Basically a copy and paste, ‘sorry for any inconvenience’ email. Pathetic. Next step?

    Quote:
    Thank you for your email dated 1 June 2012 regarding general redistribution of Cycles.

    It is highlighting factors such as those mentioned in your previous correspondence that helps us to understand the effectiveness of our redistribution and your feedback has now been passed on to Transport for London and will be taken into consideration where future service improvements are concerned.

    We would like to thank you for taking the time to bring these matters to our attention. In the meantime please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    Should you require further information regarding any other Scheme related matter please refer to our website (www.tfl.gov.uk/barclayscyclehire). Alternatively you may also contact us on the details below where one of our Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you.

    #85323

    PM
    Participant
    Quote:
    Basically a copy and paste, ‘sorry for any inconvenience’ email. Pathetic. Next step?

    The next step is nothing, because that is the only sensible option.

    To try to resolve the tidal flow by trying to move bikes around would be impossible with the current scheme.

    Moving vast numbers of bikes from one point to another is pointless and expensive. It would be cheaper just to pay everyone’s taxi fare.

    If you want to resolve the tidal flow issue, then you would need to bite the bullet and come up with some radical (and unpopular) changes to change the behaviour of how people use the bikes.

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