The search for a new sponsor for London’s popular cycle hire scheme is being stepped up.
Transport for London (TfL) has been searching for a company to fill the shoes of Barclays since the start of the year and has now officially opened the tender process.
TfL and the Mayor Boris Johnson came in for criticism for the amount Barclays paid for the sponsorship, reportedly only half of the £50m promised. Barclays had been set to back the scheme up to 2018.
Questions were also raised about the reportedly informal way Barclays secured the sponsorship contract, which is likely why TfL is labouring the fact it is running a tender process now.
According to TfL: "A number of globally renowned brands have already shown an interest in this chance for the private sector to be associated with one of London’s internationally recognisable forms of transport, gaining unprecedented exposure across the capital."
The Mayor of London added: “With more than 31 million hires since its launch there can be no doubt that our trusty bicycles have changed the way people get around our great city. With a number of top brands already stepping forward to work with us, this really is a unique opportunity for a commercial partner to put their stamp on a mode of London transport that is now as recognisable as our iconic black cabs and red buses. We are looking for a sponsor whose aspiration matches our own, one with the passion to take the scheme to the next level and get even more people pedalling.”
TfL’s director of Commercial Development Graeme Craig commented: “By formally opening the tender process for a new sponsor, we’re at a really exciting point in the evolution of Barclays Cycle Hire. Sponsorship of the scheme offers an exceptional opportunity for a leading company to be entwined within the fabric of London. Cycle Hire is already part of London’s iconic transport network and will give a new commercial partner an exceptional level of exposure for their brand as we develop the scheme further.”
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