Santander Cycles marks 9th birthday with free led rides

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme is celebrating its 9th anniversary by offering free guided Santander Cycles rides on Sundays throughout August and September as part of TfL’s Summer of Cycleways campaign.

The free tours will give people the chance to see the sights of London while using TfL’s segregated cycle lanes following the route of a new Santander cycles map. The map can be downloaded online or via the Santander Cycles app, with the route split into three loops; a Thames Loop between Blackfriars and  Westminster, a Royal Loop around St James’ Park and Green Park, and a Hyde Park route.

Santander Cycles is offering people using the mew map 20% off their first ride. Last year, a record 10.5 million journeys were made using the scheme.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “London’s cycle hire scheme has become an essential part of our city since launching nine years ago. I’m delighted that our free led rides are returning this summer, enabling even more Londoners to discover that Santander Cycles are a fun and easy way to get around.”

A new docking station for the scheme will be installed in Victoria Park over the coming week, with TfL recently announcing plans to work with boroughs and Network Rail to bring Santander Cycles to rail stations with high cycling potential across London, starting with London Bridge and Liverpool Street stations.

TfL’s Summer of Cycleways campaign is running until World Car Free Day on 22 September and includes a series of events such as led cycle rides, Play Streets and cycling festivals taking place across the summer.

The free Santander Cycle led rides will run between Hyde Park and Southwark on 11, 18, 25 August and 1 September, with 20 places available for each ride.

Yesterday, TfL announced applications are now open for more than £500,000 of grants for community and not-for-profit groups that encourage people to walk and cycle.

 

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Hayley Everett

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