London's Cycle Hire Scheme to launch 30 July
London is join the ever-increasing number of cities offering public cycle hire schemes (see The Best City Bike Hire Schemes).
From July 30, the cycle sharing scheme will offer 10,200 docking posts at 400 locations across central London (roughly corresponding to zone 1 on the tube), "close to many of the city's major attractions, business and shopping areas". (Greentraveller's offices in Islington are located opposite a proposed site for one of the bike locations).
Similar to the successful Velib scheme in Paris, London's cycle hire scheme will work on a self-service basis and will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You pay an access fee (£1 for 24 hours, £5 for a week, or an annual £45 membership fee), and then simply pick up a bike and pay for the amount of time you use it, ranging from £1 for an hour to £50 for 24 hours.
There will also be information in foreign languages so that tourists will also be able to take advantage of the scheme - and maps will be provided at each docking station. Helmets are not provided, but the scheme's organisers promise to repair and replace broken bikes, to keep the scheme running smoothly. The organisers says the bikes are designed "to be as easy to use as possible. You'll be able to adjust the seat and they'll probably have a basket."
The scheme is being sponsored by Barclays. For full information on costs, registering and details of the scheme, see: Transport for London Cycle Hire.
A Cycle Hire iPhone App will soon be available to help you locate the 400 cycle docking stations in Central London. It will be available free of charge via http://cyclehireapp.com (this is not affiliated with TfL or Barclays).
For a comprehensive listing of all public city bike hire schemes and the latest developments, see: www.bike-sharing.blogspot.com.