Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bring bike-hire revolution to London

I mentioned in a previous post back in April about a new bike hire scheme called Bicing that is being rolled out in Barcelona. I was delighted to learn that the Mayor of London is considering a similar scheme, possibly integrated with the Oyster card. Rumour has it that when Greens first started to push this one a year or so ago he was only lukewarm, but when it was quietly suggested that he might want to get it into his manifesto 'before Boris did' he was more receptive to the idea ;).

While I'm in a swiping mood, isn't the Tory London Assembly member Brian Coleman missing the point slightly in having a go at Blue Peter's Connie Huq for taking part in the launch of London Freewheel? No doubt Ken Livingstone did get political mileage out of the press launch, but surely this bike ride is something that should be attracting cross-party support, or is Brian Coleman scared it may make it more difficult to get around by taxi on that day?!

Anyway, enough sniping from me, press release from Green London Assembly member Jenny Jones below.

Bring bike-hire revolution to London

Welcoming the Mayor of London’s announcement that he is considering a plan to introduce a London version of the bike-hire scheme that is revolutionising public transport in Europe’s major cities, Jenny Jones, Green Party London Assembly Member, has called for the scheme to be in place as soon as possible.

“I have been working to get support for a London wide bike hire system for the last 12 months, and am delighted that the Mayor is now considering such a scheme. A London scheme could be self-financing, or even profitable. But to make sure it gets off the ground within the next year I will make it part of my budget negotiations with the Mayor. Cities like Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Vienna and Oslo have all recent! ly introduced bike hire schemes, and have had huge success, with millions of hire trips being made in the first few months.”

“Because bikes are often the quickest and most sustainable way to travel in cities, it makes perfect sense to provide them as a new form of public transport, integrated with the Oyster car system, especially when the bikes can be used as part of a longer journey by bus, tube or train. The more people that we can encourage to cycle this way, the more pressure there will be to provide better cycling facilities and infrastructure, paving the way towards truly making London a cycling city.”

Notes

  • Jenny is the Mayor’s Green Transport Advisor
  • In Paris, the Velib scheme started last month, and already offers 700 bike stations with 10,000 bikes. When the scheme is fully rolled out, it will offer a total of 1,451 bike stations (compared to 298 tube stations in Paris), with 20,000 bikes. Bikes are free for the first 30 minutes, then prices rise afterwards.
  • In Barcelona, the Bicing scheme was launched in March, and offers 100 bike stations (with 1,500) bikes across the centre of the city. In 6 months, the cycles have already been used 1,000,000 times.
  • In Berlin, cycles are activated with an Oyster-card equivalent, then may be left on any street corner within the city centre.
  • Schemes (often linked to outdoor advertising) are also running in Lyon, Rennes, Seville, Cordoba, ! Giron, Brussels, Vienna and Oslo, soon to be joined by Marseilles, Mulhouse and Besançon.
  • London already has one small scheme – the Oybike scheme – but this is small scale and the only bike stations are in Hammersmith and Fulham. A London-wide scheme, with TfL backing, would be more effective.

5 comments:

romke said...

It's not very polite to hotlink a picture from somebody else's blog without a textual reference to the original source, in this case www.frogsmoke.com

Sue Luxton said...

Really? I thought it was standard practice, and as you point out, anyone clicking on the picture goes to the original source, generating traffic for that site. Will happily remove the picture if you'd rather not get extra visitors to it, however . . .

leenewham said...

I think it's a good idea, as long as the bikes dont look goofy...

I have seen the scheme in fulham and its..er..well, they look goofy.

The paris scheme looks better.

But a great idea. I'd use it, especially if merged with the oyster card (although why you cant buy a one day travel card on your oyster I dont know, the pay as you go thing has cost me a fortune and I now never use it).

As for Romke and his hotlink issue..well, he should just get a life.

Transpontine said...

Just got back from Paris, saw loads of people using the bikes and wished we had the same here. Merging it with the oyster card would be easiest so you don't have to fiddle round with an extra card. I wanted to have a go on the Paris one but couldn't work out how to get a card.

valugi said...

In Barcelona we use it also, although there are some problems with the number of bikes for such a large request. This service should be universal. Read this extensive analysis.