Sunday, August 1, 2010

Invasion of the blue Barclays cycles - Boris Johnson London cycle hire kicks off

Thousands of blue Barclays bikes, part of Mayor Boris Johnson's project to revitalize the city, are rolled out at hundreds of docking stations dotted across London. Costing approximately £300 each, the London cycle scheme is essentially for UK residents (essentially Londoners) although the website seems to indicate that there are plans to extend it to non-residents (tourists etc.) as well.

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Other than an initial £3 for a membership key and an access charge: from £1 per 24hrs to £45 per year, the only other charges are the usage charges that increase exponentially as time goes by. However, with the first 30min free, you could potentially change your cycle at each docking station along your journey and travel for free if you plan your trip properly.

I guess the first thing that comes to our minds would be the risk of vandalism or theft. Well, apparently, you'll a verified billing address at the point of registration and a levy of £300 (the cost of the cycle itself) will be imposed for every cycle reported lost. So I guess that pretty much covers it.

Would the scheme takes off as like they did in Paris and other European cities? That remains to be seen. But there was quite a number of people huddling at docking stations located at the busier spots expressing their interest. Who knows? Participants in the next London Naked Bike Ride might just turn up in force riding the Barclays blue cycles. Surely Boris Johnson would be immensely proud of that.

Would you be taking hiring a Barclays cycle anytime soon?

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3 comments:

William K Wallace said...

I would consider it, if only they got rid of all the crazy drivers off the roads of London. Something tells me the amount of cyclists getting injured or worse is going to increase!

Lady Banana said...

Have you tried one yet?

I don't need to as I have my own bike!

C K said...

@William,
Ah.. someone I know who's based in Cambridge mentioned how different Londoners treat cyclists compared to back in Cambridge. He wouldn't ever dare to cycle in London.

@Lady Banana,
A confession is in order. I am a horrible cyclist. But wouldn't mind riding tandem if you would steer. Lol!