Will you be registering for the Cycle Hire Scheme?

Boris Cycle HireRegistration for the cycle hire scheme was today launched and if you want to be one of the first to use the scheme you need to register. Registration for the year costs £45 which is generally considered the best value for money. Otherwise you can also choose weekly and daily plans.

This can be completed via: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx

Upon entering your name, date of birth, relationship status, what you had yesterday for breakfast you’ll be sent a key that you then need to activate.

They key itself costs £3 and the obvious criticism is why couldn’t this have been integrated with that other famous key we have to London. The Oyster card.

Generally, the £45 plus £3 key is the only thing you’ll end up paying for. This is because most people will be aiming to stay within the half hour free limit. Thus it does make this one of the cheapest forms of transport around London (and most eco-friendly).

Some crazy rumours had been flying around that there would be volunteers redistributing bikes during the day. I don’t know who started that rumour but it is of course false.

In fact yesterday on my cycle home I saw the little vans that will be re-distributing bikes around the docking station. I was going too fast to take a picture and they were stuck in the traffic jam so you’ll have to imagine what they looked like!

So, will you be registering for the cycle hire scheme? and Why? Can you see yourself using it? Are you happy to pay the £45? Any problems registering? Opinions please..

Cycle hire scheme coverage:

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126 Responses to Will you be registering for the Cycle Hire Scheme?

  1. Nick Hudgell 23/07/2010 at 9:47 am #

    I tried to register this morning. I got through to the payment screen (had chosen annual, 1 key) – and it didn’t complete the processing of my payment. I rang the helpdesk and they couldn’t process it either. I think they’re struggling a bit this morning…

  2. Peter 23/07/2010 at 10:06 am #

    I looks like when you get to the payment stage you are then registerd, but not sure if I will still get the keys though

  3. Andreas 23/07/2010 at 10:10 am #

    Interesting. I’ve not followed the process through yet so perhaps better to wait until later.

  4. Kirses 23/07/2010 at 10:15 am #

    I registered for a 7 day access to try it out, processed no problems 🙂

  5. Duncan Palmer 23/07/2010 at 10:15 am #

    Tried to register just now. Said that it couldn’t be completed. fumbz up Bo Jo!

    I am still unsure about the annual one given that I live in Balham so my nearest docking station is quite a way away. Some choice satellite ones would be grand with maybe a 45 minute free to use period? Wishful thinking no doubt

  6. Andreas 23/07/2010 at 10:16 am #

    TfL reporting:
    “We had 600 applications in the first 40 minutes this morning!”

    Twitter reports:
    piemanpete @londoncyclist I would if it would let me signup, does not like my card
    stewbirch @londoncyclist I wanted an idea where the docks are first but then I thought dammit and did it anyway
    Green_Steve @londoncyclist I started to register for bike hire, but didn’t quite get why it wanted to charge me £1 before using the bikes so I stopped.
    nickhudgell @londoncyclist just tried to sign up to become a member. Payment system doesn’t work…. what a great start

    • Filippo Negroni 23/07/2010 at 10:53 am #

      I registered at 6:35 this morning, and my reg number is above 1,000… maybe they were not linearly allocated and I’ll get the free t-shirt! 😉

  7. Carolyn 23/07/2010 at 10:16 am #

    So far can’t see any advantage in these hire bikes, as do not come out to where I live and seem quite expensive…. so shall continue using my own bike and using my freedom pass on pub. transport!

  8. MarkE 23/07/2010 at 10:17 am #

    Having the same problem. Processed payment up until the final stage and then implied there was a problem. Did it three times and same result.

    My account got created, though, and my activity log showed the three attempts to pay, all with £45 + £3 paid in and -£45 -£3 straight back out again.

    I tried to sign into my account and make the payment again but there doesn’t appear to be an option for that on the webpage, and now I can’t even get onto the page at https://web.barclayscyclehire.tfl.gov.uk/

  9. Andreas 23/07/2010 at 10:22 am #

    Advice from TfL: Keep trying!

  10. Dani Riot 23/07/2010 at 10:24 am #

    I’m rather unattracted to it. This could be due to me already having a bike.

    I pretty much love my bike and couldn’t ever see myself needing or wanting to pay a fee to use another one.

  11. MarkE 23/07/2010 at 10:34 am #

    Can anyone point out where I can try to reprocess a payment?

    Meanwhile, the people complaining about the costs (e.g. the idiot citing £15 for 4 hours) don’t understand how it’s supposed to work. It’s designed for inner-city use only, so nobody should need to be on one for 4 hours.

    The charges are there to stop people hogging them whilst they’re not cycling anywhere, thereby reducing the potential mobility of someone else. Get on, 20 mins, swap to another one, 20 minutes, go do your thing for a few hours, cycle back. Free (after the membership fee).

  12. botogol 23/07/2010 at 10:41 am #

    the scheme seesm to have cost £16,000 per bike, over six years.
    it seems hard to imagine that it will be worth it.

  13. Fab 23/07/2010 at 10:46 am #

    I have just signed up for it, got two keys (for the boyfriend too) for 24 hours access – just to try it out.
    I think it’s a great idea, i just hope it expands to Brixton soon – the closest docking station to me is by Oval – too far a walk home if i want to make it home from Central London on the hire bike!

  14. Cait 23/07/2010 at 11:09 am #

    Cycling as I do to Paddington, there are 2 cycle stations very close to me (Paddington basin and round the back of Paddo station / close to St Marys, if you’re interested). I am searching my brain to work out how many times a year I’d want to just nip in to Oxford Street or something in which case it would be very useful rather than the faff of getting my bike from the basement and finding a decent place to chain it up at the other end (crossing fingers that it’ll be ok).

    In fact, I actually want to go in to town today… but £48 quids worth of those one-offs, over the course of a year? Hmmmm. Not sure yet.

    • Filippo Negroni 23/07/2010 at 11:13 am #

      I only got a one day pass for £1.
      You can also choose to auto-renew the pass, which means if you use your daily pass, and happen to be in London again some time in the future, it will automatically renew the £1 pass for you the instant you attempt to hire a bike.

  15. Anonymous 23/07/2010 at 11:32 am #

    “Upon entering your name, date of birth, relationship status, what you had yesterday for breakfast you’ll be sent a key that you then need to activate. ”

    Funny but misleading potential candidates — registration requires name, email. contact phones, and a UK address.

  16. PatrickD 23/07/2010 at 11:36 am #

    I signed up this morning – no probs. Can’t wait!

  17. Matt 23/07/2010 at 11:41 am #

    I don’t live in London but do visit for work a day or two per week. Signing up for the £1 daily access seemed like a good move to give me the option of cycling instead of the Tube. Not sure it’ll save me money because my regular journey from King’s Cross to Paddington Basin could well go over 30 minutes with a bit of noodling about, but at least I’ll be above ground and seeing a bit more of your beautiful city 🙂

    • juleslostinlondon 23/07/2010 at 4:31 pm #

      it won’t take 30 minutes to do that, even if you crawled it. you’ll get a freebie.

  18. Rae 23/07/2010 at 11:45 am #

    Upon registering, I discovered that the 30 minutes free is not actually the case.

    I was told that in fact, you must return the bicycle within 25 minutes or you will be charged. From my reading of the terms and conditions, it appears to be 30 minutes free so I don’t understand what the phone operator that registered me was talking about.

    Has anyone else heard this bit about it being 25 free minutes instead of 30?

    • Anonymous 23/07/2010 at 1:43 pm #

      It’s up to 30min free, but may be the 5min gap is in relation to this:

      “A 5 minute time interval is required between the end of one journey and the commencement of another journey. If you (or an Additional User) attempt to undock a Cycle from a Docking Point within the 5 minute time interval, this will be treated as a continuation of the previous journey and the Period of Use and Usage Charge shall be calculated accordingly.”

  19. Matt 23/07/2010 at 11:46 am #

    Just registered (for annual) without any issues… perhaps they have got over their peak load from earlier ?

  20. Jon 23/07/2010 at 11:55 am #

    I tried a number of times to register for 1 key and 24 hrs access but each time got a message saying that they couldn’t process the payment. Seems that they’ve registered me as I then phoned their hotline and they knew me and asked for my Security Answer. Asking for my scholl nickname is a bit strange – it’s something I’d prefer to forget! They still couldn’t take any payment. Maybe they don’t like my bank and prefer a Barclays Bank account number?

    Note that the link from the sign up page doesn’t take you directly to the Terms and Conditions of use of the bikes – it only takes you to a general T&Cs for TfL. Look in the left hand listing for Cycle Hire T&Cs if you really want to read and undertand them

    When putting in your credit or debit card number don’t put any spaces.

  21. Jon 23/07/2010 at 12:06 pm #

    So, I logged in as a member and tried paymen that way. Same response:
    “Sorry, we have been unable to process your payment.
    What went wrong?
    You may have entered your payment card details incorrectly or have used an invalid or expired card. You can try to make payment again or contact us on 0845 026 3630 to speak with a customer service representative. ”
    The card isn’t expired and I’ve not had problems elsewhere. Ho hum. Maybe it’s a problem with VISA?

  22. chris 23/07/2010 at 12:10 pm #

    My payment couldn’t be processed either.

    Apparently they don’t appreciate my not having a Barclays account.

    Oh, and their map doesn’t work, so I’m not actually sure if there are any docking stations near anywhere I’d likely be, so maybe I won’t register after all.

  23. Anonymous 23/07/2010 at 12:43 pm #

    “unofficial” map here

    I suspect these are the originally 400 planned docking stations, of which there may be some that are not ready yet or will not be installed.

  24. Anonymous 23/07/2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Watch out!

    “A 5 minute time interval is required between the end of one journey and the commencement of another journey. If you (or an Additional User) attempt to undock a Cycle from a Docking Point within the 5 minute time interval, this will be treated as a continuation of the previous journey and the Period of Use and Usage Charge shall be calculated accordingly.”

  25. Andrew 23/07/2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I enjoyed the Paris scheme so look forward to using the London one someday.

    I live out of London and my most common route would be Liverpool St to visit my sister in Battersea. The nearest docking station to her would be Vauxhall I think, so not close enough (the map on the tfl website doesn’t have ANY docking stations on it). Build a docking station at Clapham Junction!!

    I think in the meantime I’ll just bring my own bike or catch the tube.

  26. Jon 23/07/2010 at 1:50 pm #

    I see that there are hire bikes out on Southwark Street, west of the junction with Great Guildford Street. Attracting a bit of interest. The terminal thing seems to be powered up too.

  27. Dani Riot 23/07/2010 at 1:54 pm #

    i just passed a station on edgware road that was empty, and only had six spaces.

    So even after paying your £48, there is no guarantee you will still get a cycle.

    • juleslostinlondon 23/07/2010 at 4:34 pm #

      five minutes walk up from there is lisson grove – where there’s at least 10 docks just outside social services (junction with frampton street). couldn’t work out why they were there, but they’re close to marylebone and edgware road station

  28. Jon 23/07/2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Hang on Dani, no one can use a bike before next Friday, and I’m sure they’ll have the other ~5,990 bikes out on the streets by then. You don’t need to pay £48 up front. As of now, if you want to register you can. The Access Tag will cost you £3 and 24 hours access will cost you £1(paid up front – but personally I don’t have a problem with that Green_Steve) making a total of £4. Not too big an invsetment really is it? If only they would take my payment…

    • Dani Riot 23/07/2010 at 2:29 pm #

      sorry, my mistake, i thought the full launch was today.

  29. MarkE 23/07/2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Resolved my payment problem – address my card is registered to didn’t exactly match the one I applied with.

    Phoned up the (very helpful) support guys who tried changing my address to something that would process. The system had retained my payment details, so once the addresses matched up it went through and I got my confirmation email.

  30. Nick 24/07/2010 at 12:12 am #

    How is it 30 mins free if you have to pay 1 pound per day for membership?

    • Vrinda 24/07/2010 at 9:10 am #

      I haven’t registered yet, but I plan to soon! I’m so looking forward to being able to borrow a cycle instead of being forced onto the tube when I want to get somewhere fast.

      Nick, £1 for as many short hops as you want to make during the day is as good as free in my estimation. And £1 a day is the highest amount you’d pay for membership, if you pay for a yearly membership you’re paying just pennies a day. It all depends on how much you’d use it.

      • Paul 26/07/2010 at 4:36 pm #

        Vrinda, I think you are mistaken. On the costs page on tfl’s website:

        “If you want to use more than one cycle (up to a maximum of four) you will need to pay an access fee for each cycle “

        • Paul 26/07/2010 at 4:41 pm #

          Actually, maybe my mistake… it also says:

          “Take a cycle as often as you like per access period, leaving five minutes between each trip”

          Seems ambiguous to me!

        • Andreas 26/07/2010 at 9:46 pm #

          Yes, fairly sure you can return a bike and then pickup another one. The 5 minutes restriction seems like one to keep in mind.

    • walltoall 01/08/2010 at 1:51 pm #

      Nick you don’t have to pay £1 a day for membership. Sign up for a whole year and it totals 48 squid which is £1 a week.The first 30 minutes is not ‘free’, it’s uncharged and I’m not trying to split hairs. If you fail to dock within 30 minutes your account is docked for an hour’s hire. And having docked you can’t undock another bike until 5minutes has passed. This is a GAME Nick, and beats nintendo hands down. Take the fun attitude. This is a fantastic game. You get to play with buses and taxis and skips in the cycle lane. Live on the wild side man. Go barclay go cycle go hire

  31. Linus 24/07/2010 at 12:29 am #

    No. I have three bicycles already.

  32. Anonymous 24/07/2010 at 9:37 am #

    Registered yesterday Friday and got today Saturday the access keys!

  33. becksldrt 24/07/2010 at 9:55 am #

    Registered yesterday, problem with payment but they called me and sorted it out in the afternoon. Key arrived today. So far, I’m pretty impressed.

  34. Wendy 24/07/2010 at 10:42 am #

    I wont be registering as I have my own bike. But I think this is a great scheme It will be great to see so many more cyclists in London 🙂

  35. Elena 24/07/2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I’ve tried to register a couple of times on a couple of different computers (yesterday and today), and can’t get past the name/DoB/address page – I keep getting an ‘Invalid Data’ error message that then doesn’t point to anything in particular. Anyone else have this? Only thing I can think of so far is that I have a last name with a space and a hyphen, but that would be a really stupid thing for them not to have thought of. Help?

    • Andreas 26/07/2010 at 9:55 pm #

      Very strange – contact the help guys on TfL cycle hire page apparently they are very good.

  36. Filippo Negroni 24/07/2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Got my Cycle Hire scheme membership card in the post this morning! 🙂

  37. Rishi 24/07/2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Hey guys, Apple just approved our free London Cycle app which shows the locations of the cycle stations as well as providing routes from one station to another.



    Let’s get London cycling!

  38. Jon 26/07/2010 at 10:25 am #

    Aaarrrrghhh! the system STILL refuses to accept my payment. So frustrating. It seems also that when you are registered but you try to buy access you don’t get the option of having automatic renewal of your access (e.g. if you wanted to buy the £1/ 24 hour access renewed automatically there is no box to select auto renewal). Prepare for more frustration/ fines.

    • Filippo Negroni 26/07/2010 at 10:31 am #

      That option is available at any point during your subscription period. I just activated my key yesterday and I can select whether to auto-renew or not at any time.

  39. Gwawr 26/07/2010 at 12:14 pm #

    I would have registered – but no option for Maestro payments (thanks for the lock-in, Barclaycard *sad face*) means I won’t be doing so until my bank switch to Visa Debit. Ridonculous.

  40. Nicole 26/07/2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Registered on Friday morning at 7.30am, got my membership key in the post on Saturday morning and activated it online straightaway. Well done TFL. I’ll be one of the first riding on the 30th..

    I, for one, am really excited about supporting this scheme and having an alternative to the bus or tube. I commute to my local railway station and leave my bike there so having free (almost) cycles right outside my workplace is just perfect. Even if I didn’t, I’d support it anyway. The only way we’re ever going to ditch the motoring mentality and get more of us on our bikes is if the few already committed cyclists really get behind schemes like this and give them our full support without moaning about every little start-up glitch. Let’s just get out there and show everyone how it’s done!!

  41. Jon 26/07/2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I too am excited about this scheme and want it to work. Sorry Nicole to have moaned about my not being able to get access to the Cycle Hire scheme. You’re right, in the scheme of things my problem – that I won’t be able to use it – is a small niggle. I’m 100% behind this scheme and will be cheering Cylce Hire users from the footway as they pedal off along the streets of London. Glad you will be among them! Well done TfL, well done!!

  42. Nicole 26/07/2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Ooops! Didn’t mean to be censorious, just positive.

  43. Paul 26/07/2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Does anyone have any information about which stations will be available on day 1? The TFL website map doesn’t have any markers – hopefully they are fixing this.

  44. John 28/07/2010 at 1:28 am #

    I have a folding bike.. take it everywhere with me.. the train to other places outside london etc etc. In the 2 years ive had it, ive never yet need to lock it, nor is it broken, unusable etc etc.. it’s just with me when I need it.

    I guess this bike is good for tourists, but for Londoners your better off getting a folding one. It’ll work out cheaper in the long run too.

  45. Patriote 28/07/2010 at 6:09 am #

    These great bikes were designed and built in Québec. Montrealers are using them a lot. Enjoy !

    • Dani Riot 29/07/2010 at 4:35 pm #

      Although, with the current economy. Its a shame they didn’t invest in a british company to build the bikes.

      I can only imagine the shipping costs alone for the bikes to get to london.

  46. charlie 28/07/2010 at 8:48 am #

    my key arrived today! now. where are my local bikes…

  47. Rory 28/07/2010 at 9:39 am #

    Got my key this morning. Great scheme – I am sure there will be numerous teething problems but it needs support.
    Very confusing on the site about additional keys though. Are they 3 pounds each or 48 pounds each? What happens if 2 bikes on 1 account are taken out at the same time? Surely a common scenario – partner comes to London with you and you both get a bike out together?

    • Paul 28/07/2010 at 9:47 am #

      Additional keys are £3 each.

      You can get up to 4 bikes on one account but you will need to pay the access fee for each. The £45 annual charge sounds like it’s designed for a single user so I guess the extra occasional bikes would be £1 a day each + usage charge if over 30mins.

      I hope that helps, I got this information from the tfl site: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14811.aspx

      You should also check out the “how it works” video: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/15025.aspx

  48. lauren 29/07/2010 at 1:13 pm #

    what a waste of money!!!!!! That’s the whole scheme not the hire costs… I can’t wait to see all the smashed bikes on campden hill road………… the hired bikes will take up too much space on the road Lmao.. Then u gotta realise the supa cycle highways will cross dangerous roads and there will be more dead cyclists, I wonder if tfl will charge the dead cyclists familes for damage to bikes by bendy buses lol….

    Then there is the good old london weather, its sunny now… But not even annoying cyclists like riding in rain and cold,,,, boris your the worse mayor ever…

  49. Patriote québécois 29/07/2010 at 1:18 pm #


    Think out of the box. Green and positive !

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