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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Key failings highlighted about the way the London bike hire scheme is performing

The failings, uncovered by Caroline Pidgeon, who is the Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, include:

  •  A widespread failure in the allocation of the bikes across the docking stations, making it difficult for people to either hire a bike, or return a bike at the end of a ride. Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that in November 2011 there was on average 27 docking stations in London that had no bikes available for hire for between 6 to 8 hours each day. At the same time  there were 31 docking stations that had no spare spaces for people to dock their bikes for between 3 to 6 hours each day.
  • Members’ satisfaction with the availability of bikes at docking stations falling since the initial  few months of the scheme
  • Less than half of members of the bike hire scheme stated they were 'satisfied' with the ease of using their membership key to unlock bikes in July 2011
  • One in five members who were surveyed in December 2011 stated they were 'dissatisfied' with the bike hire scheme
  • Casual users facing problems with using the terminals at docking stations, and also finding the print outs produced when taking out bikes not to be clear

As the original advocates of the bike hire scheme, way back in 2001, Liberal Democrats think the cycle hire scheme is a great idea, however it has a long way to go before it becomes a genuine transport option that serves all Londoners. There needs to be a far better distribution of bikes across the existing docking stations. Where are the docking stations in Ealing, in Acton, in Chiswick!

It is shameful that there are docking stations which frequently don't have a single bike available for as much as 7 or 8 hours a day. Being able to find a bike should not involve having to chase around from one docking station to another.

If TfL could incentivise the scheme and increase the number of casual users it would ensure a far better natural redistribution of bikes across the docking stations.
Quite simply the bike hire scheme is now 18 months old and excuses about teething problems have long passed. The Mayor should be working hard to ensure the bike hire scheme is an accessible and reliable form of transport for all Londoners.

Boris get on your bike!

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