London's Cycle Hire scheme is now five years old

Boris bikes go free for Santander Summer of Cycling

Around 43 million journeys have been made on London’s Cycle Hire bikes since the scheme started five years ago.

To celebrate the anniversary there’s a free access weekend on August 22-23 to encourage people to try the cycles as part of Santander Cycles’ Summer of Cycling. The celebration will include money-can’t-buy cycling tours of the Science Museum and ZSL London Zoo, amongst other unique experiences

Since launching, the cycle hire scheme has nearly doubled the number of bikes (6,000 to 11,500) and docking stations (400 to 748). The busiest day saw 73,000 hires, while the hardest working bike has been hired almost 4,300 times.

In March next year the scheme will expand eastwards into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. An additional 1,000 docking points are already planned within the existing zone and TfL is working with local borough councils to further extend the scheme in the future. TfL is also set to see how it can better integrate Santander Cycles online accounts with Oyster and Contactless Payment online accounts.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Our iconic cycle hire scheme has come a really long way since it began, with millions of miles cycled by people of all ages and ability across our great city. With expansion of the scheme eastwards and plans for scores of more docking stations, it will soon be even easier for more people to get on board one of our sturdy two-wheelers. For anyone who’s yet to try out one of our trusty red bikes, I’d encourage you to give them a try. Whether it’s to get to and from work, or to take in the sights of the capital on a leisurely day out, Santander Cycles are surely the way to go.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We’ve had a great five years building and growing London’s cycle hire scheme and we’re now looking to the future to make Santander Cycles even more successful. We want to improve the customer experience and continue to make hiring a bike easy, fun and rewarding.”

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