Poll: London Cycle Hire Scheme

cycle-hire-scheme-artists-impressionDuring the summer of this year the London Cycle Hire scheme will be launching. For some it will be a momentous day, for others it will make absolutely no more difference other than going “huh, there’s that cycle hire scheme”.

Rentable bikes will be available 24 hours a day from 400 locations around London. You can even borrow one for 30 minutes for completely free.

The critics will argue how the money would have been better spent elsewhere. They could say that it would be better spent on dedicated cycle lanes. They could also argue that the scheme fails to provide bikes where they are most needed. Near busy rail stations.

The people for the cycle hire scheme will argue this gives Londoners a great alternative way to get around London. They may talk about how it will encourage more people to become full time cyclists and ease some of the congestion on other modes of transport.

Is this just another great publicity stunt by mayor Boris or a really positive change for transportation in London? What do you think?

Note: If you can’t see the poll above then please visit the blog

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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16 Responses to Poll: London Cycle Hire Scheme

  1. Tom 25/01/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    As a non-political point, the cost is now £92m over two years to set up the scheme with an initial 6000 bikes.

  2. Andreas 25/01/2010 at 12:37 pm #

    It’s definitely working out very expensive. Like with any public project!

  3. Andreas 25/01/2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Poll should be working okay. There is no limit to number of answers. From what I see in the stats 15 responses so far 🙂

  4. Tim Benson 25/01/2010 at 12:54 pm #

    This time last year I was working in Paris. It was great to see the scheme there in action. It did seem to be working well and a real range of non cycling types seemed to be using the service. It was very amusing watching the operatives with their little tractors towing trails of the cycles back to the most important and popular spots in the evening. Trendy the bikes were not so theft hopefully would not be a big problem!

  5. Tom 25/01/2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I don’t think the trendiness of the bikes greatly affects their chances of survival: http://road.cc/content/news/11571-vélib’-contract-terms-redrawn-after-crimewave

  6. Andreas 25/01/2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I think they have anti-theft measures in place? Such as the security deposit. Dont know if they are equipt with GPS trackers inside?

  7. MarkA 25/01/2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I think if you look at any fairly substantial capitol investment project, a hundred million is pretty small-fry: we wasted £12 BILLION on the new NHS computer system before ditching it – you could lay good quality cycle tracks throughout central London for that kind of money! All in all, I think the hire scheme is a good thing – I have seen similar schemes working very well in other cities and hope the same will happen here in London.

  8. Tim Benson 25/01/2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Oui peut etre!!

  9. David 25/01/2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I’d prefer more secure parking facilities/bike racks/better surfaces/cycle lanes as a way of increasing cycle usage. It seems a lot of money to spend given the state of the roads in London are enough to deter any possible new converts the scheme would attract

  10. Jolyon 25/01/2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Anything that tends to get more people onto cycles more often is likely to be mostly good. Then an increasing number of people will find that, without any particular magic (or clothing), they are “cyclists” too. And then they may think about that when driving or walking around London. And then they may start thinking “hmmm, it would be better if there was better cycling infrastructure in London; perhaps I should contact my council”. And then things might snowball.

  11. Corin 25/01/2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Better road surfaces and more properly secure cycle parking would be nice, but I also have high hopes for the cycle hire scheme getting us nearer to the ‘critical mass’ of bikes on the road to transform London into the real cycling city it could be (it is basically flat, after all 😉 )

    So I vote ‘Yes’!

  12. Andreas 26/01/2010 at 12:05 am #

    David, I guess you have to wonder whether that money from the cycle hire scheme would have been spent on other cycling projects. My guess is it wouldn’t.
    Jolyon, you can only hope!
    Corin, you definitely have to go searching for the hills in London. They have found me recently!

  13. Adam Edwards 27/01/2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I’m optimistic. London Skyride shows politicians that there are lots and lots of votes in cycling, so remember that when the election comes. So lots of people hiring bikes = lots of votes. Thus when council x decides to spend on cycle lanes, one hopes the councillors remember.


  14. Vrinda 27/01/2010 at 4:47 pm #

    I think that having hire cycles is a great idea. I’ve only been cycling regularly for a few months and already I miss my bike awfully when I don’t have it in London for whatever reason. You don’t realise how much slower it is to walk! So yes, I love this idea for the convenience of being able to make a quick hop from place to place without resorting to the underground, or the buses which I have always hated.

    Also, I think it’s an excellent way of attracting new cyclists because they get to try it out and see how fast and easy and fun it is to cycle, then who knows how many will decide they want to be able to get around on their own bikes. Improving cycle routes, while very much needed, can be seen by not-yet-cyclists as for already-cyclists and not for everyone, whereas hire bikes get everyone on the road without need of personal investment until they’re hooked.

  15. Gary 28/01/2010 at 11:09 am #

    Its a fantastic idea, providing it is used.

    I can foresee the following:

    Bikes stolen
    Bikes just left anywhere
    Cost rising

    However, for those that don’t want the hassle of taking a bike on the train etc, this is a brilliant idea.

    Bikes could be a bit better though.

  16. Arthur 30/03/2010 at 3:05 pm #

    FANTASTIC! There will be one just outside my house and one outside work! I will definitely use them because i have nowhere to store my own bike, and I absolutely hate public transport. Besides it would take me less then 30 minutes to work, as I usually walk in 45. Free travel! Hooray, very very good scheme!

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