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London’s Santander Cycles scheme to add 500 e-bikes from September

Transport for London (TfL) and Santander have announced that e-bikes will be introduced to London’s Santander Cycles scheme from 12th September.

Last month, the scheme recorded its busiest month in its history, with more than 1.3 million hires across the month. To support the scheme’s continued success and financial sustainability, TfL and Santander are introducing 500 e-bikes to its fleet.

The bikes are being introduced as part of a programme of work to modernise the cycle hire scheme, with funding agreed for the programme in 2020. The new e-bikes will be distributed across key central London locations.

TfL will also be making changes to the Santander Cycles fare tariff from 12th September, after feedback from customers showed that the current tariff structure, which charges an annual membership fee or a daily access fee of £2, plus additional charges for rides longer than 30 minutes, is complex and inflexible. The changes, which are the first since 2013, include:

– A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride. This will replace the existing daily access charge, which is £2 for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, with additional charges for rides over 30 minutes

– A new monthly membership option, costing £20 per month. The membership, which can be cancelled at any time, will allow customers unlimited 60-minute rides in the month and will improve the scheme’s offer to people who do not wish to commit to an annual membership

– The annual membership will now offer unlimited 60-minute rides, instead of the unlimited 30-minute rides currently offered. The price of an annual membership will increase to £120, reflecting increased running costs and inflation since it was last changed in 2013

– E-bikes will initially be available to registered users only, for a fare of £3.30 per 30-minute ride or an additional fare of £1 per 60 minutes for monthly and annual members

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am delighted to be launching our first ever e-bikes for hire. Another first for London hot on the heels of another record-breaking month for Santander Cycles, which saw an incredible 1.3m journeys in July. It will be great to see these new e-bikes on London’s streets soon.

“I’m determined to continue building a cleaner, greener London for everyone and this includes making cycling as accessible as possible. The new Santander Cycles e-bikes will play an important role in helping to break down some of the barriers that stop people from getting on a bike, including fitness, age and length of journey.”

Read more: £500,000 Bikeability funding boost to teach children to cycle during summer holidays

TfL has also confirmed that a number of new docking stations are set to open in the London Borough of Southwark later this year, the scheme’s first expansion since it was introduced to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019.

The new docking stations will be located at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Brandon Street, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will be built with funding from Southwark Council.

David Eddington, TfL’s head of cycle hire, said: “Santander Cycles is a vital part of London’s transport system and is more popular than ever, with the scheme seeing 11 record-breaking months in a row.

“We want to make sure that the scheme continues to be one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of travelling in the capital. The new bikes, alongside our simpler new tariff, will ensure that the scheme can build on this success and be financially sustainable, playing a full role in a green and healthy future for London.”

Rebecca Morley

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