Thursday 15 September 2011 11.03am
I and others had similar experiences on Monday evening. I was trying to get from Oval Way to Strata. I spent well over an hour following erroneous 'live' information from the docking stations about local availability. I also rang the TFL bike guys three separate times during my goose chase, hoping their info might be more accurate and / or they could send round a few of the vans to redistribute bikes.
They were very professional and understanding, but ultimately totally unhelpful. After about 90mins misdirection and misinformation I gave up, gave them the number of my bike and left it between two docked bikes outside Strata. By then I'd visited the docking stations at: Hampton Road, Strata x 2, Wansey St, Harper Road
x 3, Swan St, Great Dover St, Borough High St, Webber St, Borough Road
x 2, and Ontario Road. No spaces anywhere.
The last I was told by the call centre was that a van was in Kennington redistributing bikes and was heading straight to E&C afterwards. By then I had no confidence in anything they were telling me, so gave the number of my bike and left it. That was about 22.30. I printed out my last journey in the morning to see whether my bike had ended up safely docked somewhere. Mercifully, it showed that it had ended up docked somewhere by 04.30.
The system is currently suffering because TFL's live info and the management of the onstreet teams isn't adequate. It's a perfectly valid question to ask how many docking stations is it reasonable to pass, or how much time should one traipse around before it can be agreed that TFL have failed in their service provision?