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London's first dockless hire bike scheme launches

19 July 2017

Whilst Transport for London's Santander Cycles scheme is expanding to Brixton, making cycling easier and more accessible, private operators have launched dockless bikes in some boroughs without the councils being consulted beforehand.

The expansion of Santander Cycles scheme is continuous: Seven docking stations with space for up to 200 bikes will be installed later this year. 2016 was a record-breaking year for Santander Cycles with an unprecedented 10.3m hires. Next-generation Santander Cycles will launch later this summer.

In the meantime, London’s first dockless hire bikes were launched on Wednesday morning, 12 July in the first phase.

A BBC trasnport correspondent reported in an article that "Some councils are furious they haven't been consulted and bikes have been "dumped" in their areas with no warning. Hackney Council, while backing cycle hire generally, says it has concerns the freefloating bikes can be left anywhere, obstructing pavements and roads. The east London local authority added it has had no dialogue with the company at all. In Hammersmith & Fulham, the west London council raised concerns with the private bike operator when about 400 of its yellow bikes appeared in the borough unannounced."

London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said: "We need dock-less bike operators to work with TfL and borough councils to ensure these bikes work for all Londoners and don't impact negatively on other cyclists, road users and pedestrians. "These schemes have real potential to make cycling more accessible for many more Londoners but it is vital that they are introduced in a way that suits our capital."

Sources:

07 July 2017- Santander Cycles to expand to Brixton

14 July 2017 - BBC News - Anger at new bike hire scheme