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Cost of London bike hire scheme to double from today

The Mayor has previously pledged to improve safety for Britain's cyclists. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Archive The Mayor has previously pledged to improve safety for Britain's cyclists. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Archive

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
9:30 AM

Cycle campaigners fear a reduction in the number of people using the bike hire service after the cost of using them is doubled from today.

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Cycle Hire scheme usage

Regular usage (according to TfL)

October 2010 - September 2011 (6,714,017 journeys)

October 2011 - September 2012 (9,136,802 journeys)

Casual usage

October 2010 - September 2011 (1,510,635 journeys)

October 2011 - September 2012 (3,520,791 journeys)

Total cycle hires since scheme launch in July 2010 (up to December 9)

147,584

The use of a bike for 24 hours will rise from £1 to £2, and weekly access will increase to £10.

Transport for London (TfL) said the number of journeys on the scheme, sponsored by Barclays, has increased by more than one third year-on-year.

Mike Cavenet, from the London Cycling Campaign lobbying group, said potential users now might have second thoughts about using them.

He said: “People are obviously price sensitive at the moment, these are difficult economic times.

“If you put the prices up, there is small chance that a portion of the people using (the bikes) may choose not to do so.

“Cycle hire is a form of public transport, and all public transport is subsidised. The car is subsidised in the fact that we build roads for them to go on.”

But Mr Cavenet said the capital needed to maintain its commitment to improving conditions for cyclists in order to save TfL money in the long run.

He added: “If you look at the example from Denmark they have worked out that cycling saves the country money.”

A TfL spokesman said annual members who face price rises will pay as little as £25 a day for unlimited journeys under 30 minutes.

He added: “The majority of cycle hire trips are made within the free 30 minute usage charge period and additional charges for late return, non-return and bicycle damage will not increase.”

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