London bike hire scheme achieves record-breaking year in 2018

London’s bike hire scheme, Santander Cycles, has achieved a record-breaking year with more than 10.5 million journeys made using the bikes in 2018.

According to Transport for London (TfL) the scheme saw an average of 29,500 hires each day last year, the highest daily average since the schemes conception in 2010.

The scheme also boasted five consecutive months where over one million hires were made, bringing the total number of journeys completed since the scheme’s launch to 77 million. On a festive note, more than 35,000 hires were made on Christmas Day alone.

In February, TfL expanded the scheme into Brixton with the addition of seven new docking stations and 200 new bikes, which saw 45,300 hires made. The new docking stations mean that the scheme’s reach now spreads from Brixton in the south to Camden in the north, and Hammersmith in the west to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the east.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “Santander Cycles are such a fun and easy way to get around London so I’m delighted that more and more people are choosing to hire them all year round – breaking records in the process.

“Encouraging more Londoners to cycle as part of their everyday routine is crucial for Londoners’ health and to help tackle congestion and air pollution.”

According to figures from TfL, customers cycled a total distance of 49,803,578 km this year, roughly equivalent to around 65 return trips to the moon. Santander Cycles now covers 100 square km of London, making it the largest cycle hire scheme in Europe.

David Eddington, Head of Cycle Hire at TfL, said: “Despite the Beast from the East, Londoners and visitors continued pedalling to help us reach our best year ever. We’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of people choosing to cycle in London, with a 35% increase since our cycle hire scheme was introduced, and hope that number will continue to rise.

“Construction work on several major new cycle routes is set to begin in 2019, including between Tower Bridge and Greenwich next summer. Following a public consultation next spring, TfL will work with boroughs and local partners to also build new routes between Camden and Tottenham Hale and Hackney and the Isle of Dogs.”

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Hayley Everett

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