Cycle hire scheme extension for east London unveiled

Image caption,
More than 100,000 people have signed up to the cycle hire scheme since July

An additional 2,000 bikes will be made available as a cycle hire scheme is rolled out to east London ahead of the Olympics, mayor Boris Johnson has said.

Cycle docking stations will be built across Tower Hamlets, North Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End, Poplar and near the Olympic Park.

Mr Johnson said: "By 2012 we'll be able to invite the entire world to join London's cycling revolution".

The Green Party's London Assembly member said the plan "lacked ambition".

More than 100,000 people have signed up to the scheme and more than 1.5 million journeys have been made across central London since its launch in July.

Further details about the expansion will be announced later.

The scheme is currently only available to those who have registered while plans to roll out the scheme to casual users has been postponed until the end of the year.

About 2,700 docking points will be created in east London and another 1,500 will be added across central London by 2012, Transport for London said.

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

'Immensely popular'

The search for locations for the new docking stations is under way and the first points may go up within a year if planning applications are approved, a spokesman for the mayor said.

Mr Johnson said: "Londoners have taken to the hire of two wheels with alacrity and it would have been absolutely nonsensical not to expand our scheme.

"For as little as 12p a day users will soon be able to use our bikes to cross a huge swathe of our city, and it will mean that by 2012 we'll be able to invite the entire world to join London's cycling revolution."

Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Ohid Ahmed, said: "With the increasing development of the City fringe, Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, the heart of London is moving east so it's important that this scheme expands in Tower Hamlets and beyond."

The Green Party's Jenny Jones said the expansion was "great news for east London, but a real disappointment" for people living and working in inner London.

She said: "By 2012, the London scheme will still have far fewer bikes and docking stations than Paris, and it's obvious that the expansion of this scheme lacks ambition."

"If the mayor is serious about his target of having a million extra journeys made by bike every day, then a bike hire scheme which only generates an extra 40,000 journeys a day is well short of what London needs."

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