Three years of Boris Bikes: How are they used?

09:36 30 July 2013

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme was launched on July 30 2010. Picture:  Alexandra Wirth/PA Wire

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme was launched on July 30 2010. Picture: Alexandra Wirth/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Almost as many Boris Bikes were hired from a Hyde Park docking station in one day last year as were picked up all year from a bank in Shepherd’s Bush, according to new figures highlighting the wide differences in the scheme’s popularity London-wide.

Data obtained under Freedom of Information laws to coincide with the scheme’s third anniversary reveals which spots served by the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme were most and least popular with riders over the financial year 2012/13.

While 76 docking stations, including ones in Knightsbridge and Canary Wharf, had one or more days on which not a single person hired a bike, on July 22 last year 847 bikes were borrowed from Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

Contrastingly, the docking station on the Westfield Eastern Access Road in Shepherd’s Bush had only 300 more hires (1,147) over the whole year. Bikes were also hired more than 130,000 times from docking spot at Waterloo station.

Such large disparities, TfL say, could be due to a shortage of docking stations in surrounding areas.

A spokesperson for the hire scheme said they expected to see an increase in the number of bikes picked up from the Westfield Eastern Access Road station as the scheme is extended south and west of the current coverage zone. Come December 2013, docking stations will open in Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth and Kensington & Chelsea.

Other figures unearthed by the FOI request include the greatest distance travelled by one bicycle. Hired 1,708 times and out for 511 hours, one bike was estimated to have been pedalled 8,180km around London’s streets.

The docking station with the largest gap between the number of bikes borrowed and returned was also revealed. Stonecutter Street in Holborn had 19,571 more parked than it had picked up, with 49,072 hires and 68,643 docks.

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme was launched on July 30 2010 after a short trial, with its bicycles quickly becoming known as Boris Bikes, after London Mayor Boris Johnson who presided over their introduction.

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