Cycle hire expands but fewer people using it – Caroline Pidgeon

February 24, 2014 6:04 PM

The Mayor can no longer deny that there are serious problems with the running of the cycle hire scheme, claims Caroline Pidgeon AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, following the release today of the latest official figures for the use of the cycle hire scheme.

On 13th December 2013 the cycle hire scheme went through a major expansion with an additional 2000 bikes and more than 150 new docking stations around Clapham Junction, Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney - an increase to the areas covered of more than 50%. However, despite its major expansion there was a 10% fall in cycle hires in January 2014 compared to January 2013 (January 2014 there were 498,870 hires, January 2013 there were 565,589 hires).

The fall in cycle hires has been a continual trend, with each month since August 2013 seeing lower cycle hire figures than the months in the previous year.

Commenting on these figures Caroline Pidgeon AM said:

"The cycle hire scheme is getting bigger but fewer people are using it. These figures should be a wake up call to the Mayor that something is seriously wrong with the running of the scheme.

"Last week we had news that London's cycle scheme underwent a major expansion last year without funding from its sponsor. Now we discover that even with this large expansion of the scheme it is just not attracting people onto the bikes.

"Instead of boasting about the cycle hire scheme the Mayor should take a good look at the hire figures and be honest with Londoners that the scheme needs to improve.

"A better distribution of bikes across the docking stations and changes to the charges are now desperately needed."

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. The latest cycle hire figures have been published today on the London Datastore:

http://data.london.gov.uk/datastore/package/number-bicycle-hires

2. The fall in people using the cycle hire scheme has been a growing trend. In 2012 there were 9,519,283 hires, in 2013 the number of hires had fallen to 8,045,459 hires.

In each consecutive month since August 2013 there has been a lower number of people hiring bikes than in corresponding months in 2012, for example in September 2013 there were 701,724 hires of the bikes, but 1,015,145 hires in September 2012.

3. Details of the massive expansion of the cycle hire scheme that took place in December 2013 can be seen here:

http://beta.tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/barclays-cycle-hire-expansion

4. A report on Barclays Bank not funding the expansion of the scheme can be seen here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26276455

5. The Mayor of London is Chair of Transport for London