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By June 3, 2010News

London’s catchily titled ‘Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme’ launches on July 30th but there have been warnings this week that the scheme will be ‘swamped’ by the demand.

Bernie Hanning, whose OY Bike Hire Scheme ran for six years in Hammersmith (prior to being withdrawn to avoid confusion with the Mayor’s scheme) said that 6,000 available bikes would be nowhere near sufficient to cope with the demand from Londoners.

Hanning said, “I would have expected to have far more bikes available. I think 6,000 is not enough if you look at the size of London. To just have the bikes used three times a day you would need 40,000 bikes. They’re expecting to get 10 uses a day on their bikes. That’s very ambitious. Six thousand bikes for the size of London — it’s just going to be swamped (with demand).�

The scheme charges £1 for 24 hour access to a bike, plus a charge for the amount of usage (an hour is another £1). There will be 400 docking stations across London.

Hanning also warned that the Canadian built bikes chosen for the scheme could be blighted by mechanical failure, and that the decision to supply bikes without a lock could be problematic for people taking them somewhere without a docking station.

Bozza tied up the £25m sponsorship deal for the scheme with Barclays last week. Each bike will carry six Barclays logos, and the Mayor commented “I’m so thrilled to be announcing that Barclays Bank, after years of taking extortionate charges from me, is doing an amazing and wonderful thing. I think there could not be a better sign of Barclays’ commitment to this city, to the environment and to a wonderful means of transport.â€?

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