London’s new cycle hire scheme goes into force next summer with four hundred cycle stations dotted around the capital, allowing Londoners the ability to make journeys between any of these stations by bike.
The charging structure for the scheme was announced this week and the reaction has been largely positive.Â The first half an hour of bike usage will be free, although anyone wishing to use a bike will have to pay an initial ‘access’ charge (Â£1 per day, Â£5 per week or Â£45 for the year).
â€œIt is amazing how far your bike can take you in 30 minutes if you put in a bit of pedal power”, puffed Boris, “and to be able to do so free of charge on one of our fantastic new bikes is simply sensational value for money.â€?
The scheme is expected to increased the number of cycle journeys in London by 40,000 per day although safety campaigners point to the significant increase in cycle casualties since a similar scheme was introduced in Paris. Critics also point out that the scheme isn’t Oyster compatible and that there aren’t docking stations at the major railway stations.