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London’s Bikeshare Scheme to Expand and Add Ebikes

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London, UK

Transport for London (TfL) has reached an agreement with Santander that will see the financial services provider continue its sponsorship of London’s flagship cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles, for another three years until 2025.

It will also see the introduction of e-bikes to the fleet for the first time, with TfL and Santander working on plans to introduce around 500 electric bikes into the scheme from next summer.

Planned modernisation will also include updates to the Santander Cycles app, cycle hire terminals and back office systems.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Cycling has been a lifeline for many Londoners over the past year and I’m determined to make it even more accessible to help us rebuild as a cleaner and greener city. Santander Cycle hire is key to this, so I’m delighted that TfL will be rolling out the scheme’s first e-bikes in summer next year and expanding it to cover new parts of our city thanks to Santander’s continued support.

Mayor of London riding bike
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan cycling along the new temporary cycle lane on Tooley Street trailed by Nathan Bostock, Santander UK CEO

TfL introduced cycle hire to Londoners on 30th July 2010 with 350 docking stations across eight London boroughs. Today, these numbers have more than doubled: Londoners now have access to more than 750 docking stations and more than 14,000 bikes.

Daily hire figures have been particularly strong in the past year with 18 of the 20 busiest days for the scheme being between March 2020 and March 2021 and record monthly hires in April 2021. Saturday 30 May 2020 saw the scheme’s second busiest day in its ten-year history, with 70,170 hires being made, which is only surpassed by 73,094 hires on the 9 July 2015, which coincided with a Tube strike.

Santander Cycles has also seen a huge growth in new customers over the last year with recent TfL figures showing that 24-hour Santander Cycles membership registrations rose by 193 per cent from March 2020 to March 2021, representing the largest increase in the scheme’s history. Meanwhile, registrations for new annual memberships increased by 22 per cent.

A thriving cycle hire scheme is central to the Mayor’s plans to make walking and cycling easier. Since May 2020 more than 100km of new or upgraded cycle lanes have been built or are under construction, along with more than 22,500 square metres of extra pavement space reallocated for people walking. The measures mean people are increasingly using bikes to get around their local area and for exercise, with recent TfL data showing cycling has increased by 22 per cent in outer London compared to spring 2019, with a seven per cent rise in inner London.

Source: TfL Media Release Friday 28th May

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