Today marks the 11th anniversary of London’s cycle hire scheme, having earlier this year passed 100 million bike hires.

The cycle hire scheme launched at 6am on 30th July 2010 with 315 docking stations and 5,000 bikes across eight London boroughs, and a decade later, the cycle hire scheme has more than 750 docking stations and over 14,000 bikes.

TfL has also confirmed that the scheme will be expanded next year, with eight new docking stations being added to Southwark.

Unsurprisingly with a lockdown on, daily hire figures have been very strong in the past year with 33 out of the 35 busiest days for the scheme being since March 2020.

The week commencing Monday 7th June 2021 saw 324,000 hires take place, averaging over 46,000 each day and making it the third busiest week since the scheme began.

June 2021 saw 650,000 hires from members, the highest monthly volume ever.

People have been using Santander Cycles for leisure and exercise rather than commuting over the last year as more people have been working from home, with increased use of docking stations near parks rather than near offices.

Earlier this year, Santander extended their sponsorship deal until May 2025 – at the same rate as before, of £6.25 million per year. TfL and Santander are also working to introduce around 500 electric bikes into the scheme from next summer.



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  1. ChrisC says:

    Brilliant idea from Ken Livinstone to start this scheme.

    • ianVisits says:

      Except that he didn’t – there’s a lot of myths about the issue, but if you drill down through the murk, Ken’s plans were for a very much smaller scheme and his main focus was on the cycle highways, not the cycle hire.

      That it took two years after leaving to open the scheme along should tell you how little work had been done on whatever his plans were.

      Read the news reports of the time, most were disparaging about the cycle hire scheme, and Ken, who had a tendency to turn up to the opening of projects initiated by his Mayoralty didn’t turn up to the bike hire opening.

  2. MK says:

    “Thousands of bicycles will be available for hire from street-corner stands under a £500m programme to “transform” London into a cycling-friendly city.

    About 6,000 bikes will be available to use for temporary periods in central London, with special stalls to be set up every 300 metres, as part of plans unveiled by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.”

    This doesn’t really refute his lack of progress leading to a two year wait for bikes (and his lack of appearance at the grand opening seals the deal) but I’d say it still counts as “his idea”. Or rather his idea to borrow Paris’ idea.

    • ianVisits says:

      The story about that announcement is that it was rushed out quickly to spike an identical announcement from his rival in the election. Some of the claims at the press conference that councils were already working on the scheme were later found to be rather less than accurate.

  3. MK says:

    Ooh. Good info. I’m sure there’s a book in this somewhere.

  4. MilesT says:

    Little known fact. To get a new bike dock usually requires local council to fund or part fund.

    The money spent on the mound would have addressed the remaining bike dock gaps in Westminster.

    • ianVisits says:

      The council funding for cycle bike expansion comes from CIL developer contributions – the Marble Arch Mound funding could not be used to expand cycle hire coverage.

    • MilesT says:

      @ian while you are probably right in practice about mound money not being available as a funding source for cycle docks, it seems also to be the case that CIL/S106 money is not the only permitted funding source for cycle docks (although it is the most usual). There are other “transport only” earmarked funding sources, and I would expect that general council funds could also be voted for docking stations, if the council so wished.

      I think it is reasonable to comment to compare the cost of the mound vs. other worthwhile investments in terms of council priorities…where there is a will there if often a way.

  5. JOS1 says:

    Great news on expansion – any idea where the new sites may be in Southwark?

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