It's official, today marks the day that London joined Paris in having it's own city wide cycle hire scheme.
Lauched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Transport for London (TFL) admitted that it was expecting some "teething problems" and perhaps this is borne out by having over 12,000 members and only 5000 bikes available!
Boris Said "Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses.
My crusade for the capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal-powered push forwards."
The bikes themselves are....well, lets just say they have a good personality. Health, safety and anti-vandalisum abviously ruled the roost with these babies.
To cost of hiring a bike varies from £1 for an hour up to £50 for 24 hours, with the key to unlock the bike costing £3. As I understand it, if the bike is returned to a parking station within 30 mins then the only cost is for the key.
At the moment there are docking stations located in Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Islington, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth as well as some of the Royal Parks.
Still, I think it's a great idea and I am all for it.
It could do with linking up to the Oyster service & have some tracking chip (I presume that it doesn't at the moment) and I can see it being an opportunity for fly posters..... but it has got to be a good thing to encourage people away from overcrowed roads and tube lines onto an under utilised, healthy and fun way to travel.
It will be interesting to see how many bikes will disappear and what state the ones that are left will be in?