Funding announced for London Cycle Superhighways

Plus public bike hire charges revealed

The Mayor of London has announced £1.49 million of funding for the first two Cycle Superhighways, which are due to be up and running by next summer.

The 7.5-mile route from Barking to Tower Gateway and 8.5-mile route from Merton to the City are the first of a total of 12 Superhighways that are due to be in place by the time of the London Olympics in 2012.

Mayor Boris Johnson said the money would also be used to "provide the training, cycle parking and maintenance knowhow to support the introduction of the first two Cycle Superhighways".

Cycle training gets £210,600, cycle maintenance/travel awareness £129,000, cycle parking £274,700 and “additional funding subject to further work” gets £884,000 – although Transport for London don’t spell out whether this is money for Superhighway infrastructure.

The London Cycling Campaign have expressed concerns that the tight timescale for installation of the Superhighways could mean improvements to junctions and roundabouts are dropped or postponed. They want to see the mayor using his “authority and vision to break through the institutional barriers, speed up decision-making and push through inspired solutions".

Cycle hire charges announced

Also newly announced are the charges for the London Cycle Hire scheme, also due to launch next summer. Users must pay an access fee – or buy an annual membership – and then a usage charge, as below. Charges have been set to encourage short hires.

Access fee

Daily

£1

Weekly

£5

Annual

£45

Usage charge

Less than 30 minutes

Free

Less than 60 minutes

£1

Less than 90 minutes

£4

Less than 120 minutes

£6

Less than 150 minutes

£10

Less than 180 minutes

£15

Less than 6 hours

£35

Less than 24 hours (maximum hire charge)

£50

Some 6,000 bikes will be available from a planned 400 docking stations (planning permission has already been given for 334 of them) in the zone one travel area. Payment will be made by credit card or debit card online, by telephone or at the docking station. Annual membership brings with it a chip-enabled ‘key’ allowing the member to remove a bike without using the payment terminal.

Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator at national cyclists’ organisation CTC, said: “This scheme will encourage thousands more people to cycle in London and more cycling generally means lower risks of injury for everyone. There are already over half a million trips by bike every day in London, so the capital’s roads should be able to cope with the extra 40,000, but roads in central London do need to be calmer and more pleasant to cycle on."

Don’t be late bringing your bike back, though – exceed your access period or keep the bike for more than 24 hours and a late return charge of £150 will be applied.

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