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Friday, 29 July 2011

A year of cycling

On Thursday we celebrated a year of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme and our announcement of the extension eastwards to near the Olympic Park and also westwards to Westfield at White City.

In a year we have had over 6m hires and there are over 128,000 members. Every day the bikes are a familiar sight across London, emit zero emissions, and are regularly used by people from all walks of life across the capital.

Next year the familiar docking stations will be installed out to the east and also out to Westfield White City. Both the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Westfield are contributing to this, and we are delighted that Barclays Bank plc are extending and expanding their sponsorship for this outstanding scheme.

On Thursday London's Mayor Boris Johnson led us into Westfield's Atrium to celebrate this occasion. The Mayor, Kulveer Ranger, representatives of Barclays Bank plc, Westfield and myself demonstrated some cycling ability inside the shopping centre.



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  2. Well, it's definitely safe to cycle inside Westfield!

    There were two protest rides last night. Over 1,000 cyclists made the effort to come out on the street to tell you what they know. They've seen TFL's plans for Blackfriars (and for the 'superhighways' through Vauxhall). They know that the policy of smoothing motor traffic flow is making junctions more dangerous, not less. They know that you just can't filter across two lanes (or scurry across when the lights are red, as Ben Plowden suggested) safely. They know this because they are made to do it elsewhere on London's streets, and they know that these dangerous junctions need to be made safer, not imitated. They know that 1.5m cycle lanes (or lanes between two lanes of traffic, that have been proved to be lethal) do not feel safe because buses and lorries pass too close. They know all this because they cycle on London's roads every day. To the best of my knowledge, you don't cycle. Why do you think you can tell them what's safe?

    Westfield is too tame. Take the Boris Bike from Victoria to Vauxhall and around the gyratory. You'll experience a cycle lane like the one you're proposing for Blackfriars. You'll experience filtering across several lanes of traffic on a bike. I think you will rapidly change your mind about the suitability of your Blackfriars designs for cyclists.

    Finallly, let me suggest you look at two blogs that are very knowledgeable about safe design for cyclists:

    For someone interested in transport policy, I think they will make fascinating reading. I hope they'll also help you ensure that future designs are safe for cyclists..

  3. Here's an interesting video for you - some high quality cycle infrastructure in Copenhagen.

    Note how the potential conflict with buses is managed - and also how the wide, safe lanes attract so many cyclists - and how many feel it is safe enough to transport children. This is ruled out by TFL's dangerous infrastructure in London.

  4. It might be safe in the Westfield Centre, but could the general public cycle there?

    As for how to do manage bicycles and traffic: the Netherlands (full stop).

    Mind you, cyclists are expected to obey the rules of the road there, unlike here (it appears).

  5. There was a poster created by Muenster city illustrating the space efficiency of different forms of transport. It simply shows 75 pedestrians, and the amount of road space they would occupy in bicycles, a bus and cars. The graphic can still be found here:

    This picture provides a wonderful illustration of why cycle numbers can significantly outnumber other forms of traffic without being noticed or contributing toward congestion in any meaningful way. The graphic is of particular pertinence to the congestion issues over Blackfriars bridge and all the other bridges crossing the Thames.

    It’s an illustration which shows precisely why TfL’s strategy which discourages cycling will exacerbate London’s congestion problems.

  6. Well, at least the scheme works (unlike to total disaster predicted by the critics), although I find the bikes heavy and hard work. Another gear would be helpful for 'cruising'.

  7. here's an excellent photo-essay demonstrating how the recent tfl 'improvements' to russell square make cycling more dangerous.

  8. a couple of issues with cycle hire::