According to TfL, more than 1.2 million cycle hires were made in September, with an average of 40,660 per day – a new record for the month.

There were 1,219,804 hires during the month, an average of 40,660 daily hires – well above the 37,917 average daily hires in September last year and the 32,323 average daily hires in the three Septembers prior to the pandemic.

Office workers returning to the office helped the surge, with a noticeable increase in people using the Waterloo and King’s Cross hubs, and docking stations located near National Rail stations.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “Our record September hires echoes the wider trend of more Londoners choosing to cycle. We are determined to do all we can to build on this further – including by introducing electric Santander Cycles to the network and expanding the scheme to new areas – to ensure a green and sustainable recovery for our city.”

Earlier this year it was announced that Santander will continue to sponsor London’s flagship cycle hire scheme until May 2025, and are currently working on plans to add eight new docking stations in Southwark Borough next year.

Annual totals according to the GLA data store

Year Average hires per day over the year Average hire duration Annual total hires
2010 (from 30th June) 12,875 16 mins 2,180,813
2011 19,547 18 mins 7,142,449
2012 25,970 20 mins 9,519,283
2013 22,017 19 mins 8,045,459
2014 27,422 19 mins 10,023,897
2015 27,006 19 mins 9,871,839
2016 28,122 18 mins 10,303,637
2017 28,594 19 mins 10,446,044
2018 28,910 19 mins 10,567,540
2019 28,547 19 mins 10,168,936
2020 28,495 24 mins 10,434,167
2021 (to 31st Sept) 28,505 22 mins 8,814716

The hires per day when averaged over the year are lower than the headline numbers for September, because far fewer people cycle in Jan and Feb of each year.

The increased duration of cycle hires over the past couple of years is also likely to be down to much higher levels of leisure cycling outside the city centre, as opposed to short hops in the centre which are usually much shorter journeys.

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2 comments
  1. MilesT says:

    Definitely seeing fewer available bikes in my local docks at the Northernmost end of the network, but that may be because repositioning by truck is happening less frequently.

    Also, it seems that TfL offered a repeat of last years annual season pass discount (from 12/9 to 30/10, code letsdolondon) but had withdrawn it early by the time I was doing an approximately weekly check for discount codes some days later. Did anyone manage to get the deal? My weekly usage doesn’t break even at the full price but the discounted price made sense.

  2. Christopher says:

    Despite being unable to get the 25% discount using the “LETSDOLONDON” discount code via the website or iOS app, I was able to purchase a discounted annual membership via customer support telephone line today (2021-10-12); the person who I spoke to said the code is valid until 17th October.

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