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Cycle Hire Scheme

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Thursday 15 October 2009 9.26am
Just read in southwark & Bermondsey news that southwark is starting up a cycle hire scheme which seems a great idea, the only thing I am a bit puzzled about is what form the cycle docking stations will take?

Will it be a secure cage with a swipe card arrangement, and do the taxi drivers know that the rank outside Bermondsey Square near Mendham house will disappear..
Thursday 15 October 2009 9.37am
Hi Jan

Do you, perhaps, mean the London-wide (well approximately Fare Zone 1 to start off) cycle hire scheme that launches in 2010? There are details of how it will work here - This also coincides with a number of new cycle routes in and around the city.

There isn't a cage, but the docking stations and bikes are very sturdy - like the Parisien Velib system - some English text on their website at If you wanted to see the bikes in action they are some at the Earl's Court Cycle Show this weekend -

Each docking station will need a planning application with the local borough. I believe there are various discussions here such as -

[I should declare I work for the Mayor. I am not in transport. Any views are my own]
Thursday 15 October 2009 11.00am
Hi Boris's lad!

thank you, I must admit it does seem well thought out, I did not think about so many docking spaces available. But could the bike thieves pinch the back wheels?

and on narrow pavements would they cause any obstruction?
Thursday 15 October 2009 11.45am
I think the plan is that the bikes are pretty sturdy things and that most docking stations would be in areas covered by CCTV. There is quite a lot of experience of this kind of scheme in other cities so London has had a chance to learn from other people's mistakes.

There is a good review of the scheme here -

I don't think any docking stations would be located on narrow pavements. I believe the plan is to put them either in existing pedestrainised areas or to extend the pavement out a little to accomodate them, like the artists impression below:

Thursday 15 October 2009 1.24pm

See here for mock-ups of the visuals (under the documents link) - various planning applications have been put in.
Saturday 17 October 2009 4.48pm
Im sure I see an site notice up in Bermondsey Street, just near the park. There isnt enough room for pedestrians/prams/dogs on the pavements let alone these cycle docks. How many of them will be vandalised and bikes stolen, with the crime rate rising around here I'll be surprised if it works.
Monday 19 October 2009 1.25pm
Oddly enough Pops I was telling the cabbie this morning about the scheme and he said one of his regular fares lived in Newmarket and the scheme had to be scrapped because the bikes kept being pinched...perhaps those bikes were more desirable than londons ones are going to be!
Monday 19 October 2009 2.48pm
I think you have to either have pre-registered (in which case they have your details), or to swipe a card (ditto) to take a bike from the racks. So, if I lose it, I pay for it.

IMHO, whilst there are plenty of niggly things about the scheme (or, indeed, anything) that you can criticise, it's basically A Good Idea.

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 19 October 2009 6.05pm
So what about these gangs with bolt cutters that are stealng bikes in the area? I can imagine that these docks will be vandalised regularly.
Monday 19 October 2009 8.40pm
Pops, I take your point. But there's always reasons NOT to do things.

Purely personally, subjectively, I think this is a brave idea. Almost worth trying even if it "fails" (by which I mean fails in the sense of some bikes go missing, but has benefits in other ways, e.g. an increase in people who aren't traditionally cyclists getting on bikes)

...if you press it, they will come.
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