London cycle hire scheme expands in west of the city

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The capital's cycle hire scheme will expand in west and south-west London by summer 2013, it has been announced.

The plans were unveiled on the first anniversary of the scheme, which has seen six million journeys.

The scheme will expand through Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, and Kensington and Chelsea.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "We are now planning to swathe a huge chunk of the west of our city with our beautiful blue bikes."

Westfield London Shopping Centre, in White City, west London, will provide funding that will allow a preview of the western expansion by extending the scheme to the centre by spring 2012.

'Increasingly popular'

Plans include 12 new docking stations which will connect the existing cycle hire zone to Westfield, with six docking stations on the grounds of the shopping centre.

Each day, about 22,000 people use more than 5,000 hire bikes in the capital.

The scheme, which began in July last year, currently operates in Camden, City of London, Hackney, Islington, parts of Lambeth, parts of Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and several of the Royal Parks.

By 2012, about 2,700 docking points will be created in east London and another 1,500 will be added across central London, Transport for London (TfL) has said.

It is yet to confirm how many will be added in the western extension.

TfL's surface transport manager, Leon Daniels, said: "The bikes are now an increasingly popular sight across central London and have transformed they way people make short trips around the capital."

Barclays, which will provide £25m towards the scheme's extension, has had its sponsorship of the cycle hire extended by three years until 2018.

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