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Bike Share London

The London Bike Share Marches North

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It’s not just Wandsworth and Fulham that will be getting Barclays Cycle Hire in the next year or so when Phase 3 goes live – Hackney and Islington will be getting a few too. The iconic “Boris Bikes” will be heading up Mare Street towards central Hackney – although not quite getting there – plus there’ll be various new docking stations in Haggerston, just north of the Regent’s Canal. There will also be a docking station on Islington Green, and a few around the Canal Museum on Calendonian Road. In all, if planning permission is forthcoming, there will be up to 15 new docking stations, all north of the Regent’s Canal. It’s a modest increase – 3% – but the communities affected will doubtless enjoy the new facility. It’s still a long way south from myself though!

I’ve adapted my Bike Share Map to show the proposed locations, above. The potential docking stations appear in green.

It’s great to see that the system is continuing to expand in all directions – but now the central London demand is being sated, it would be nice if Transport for London relaxed their requirement for docking stations to be within 300m of each other. The most successful bike share systems generally have a dense core and a well spaced out periphery, which accommodates commuters, tourists and locals equally well. I would much rather have the system properly penetrating Zone 2 and 3, even if there’s a 1km gap between each docking station. Then it becomes more useful for the utility users who unlike the commuters (going from stations to skyscrapers) and tourists (concentrating on the bigs parks and markets) act as useful re-distributors in their own right by the nature of their diverse journey directions.

Thanks to Loving Dalston for spotting a planning application for the docking station by London Fields. I had a quick trawl through the Hackney and Islington council planning websites to spot the others.

9 replies on “The London Bike Share Marches North”

I don’t understand your idea of the “utility” bike share user who is willing to walk eight blocks in some direction in order to get on a bike. Who is this person?

Actually it is 1km if – as they mostly are – the peripheral stands are empty and you have to walk inwards to find a bike..

Good to see that TfL are choosing to use the Phase 3 increase to expand the scheme organically into areas where levels of cycling are already (relatively) extremely high – i.e. Hackney and Islington – so the new docks will be much better used than expansion elsewhere in London.

The problem with that is that if the incentive is financial, or otherwise very advantageous, then there is the risk of large numbers of people taking the bikes simply to benefit from the incentive, reducing the number of bikes in the docks for “legitimate” users. Washington DC and Paris both have a limited incentive scheme, where you get extra free minutes on a future hire, if you leave your bike at a number of designated stations.

The best way to deal with empty/full racks is (a) be familiar with the diurnal patterns of your docking stations of interest (b) appreciate that it shouldn’t really be thought of as a regular commuting option.

But Ollie your statements are in contradiction. The regular pattern shows that many people clearly want to use this as a regular commuting option.

The current solution isn’t working (or at least not nearly as well as it could). We should want people to game the system. Keep in mind, they aren’t going to make actual money they are just going to ride for free.

My own anecdotal experience is that the lack of reliability in finding a docking station is the thing holding many people back from using cycle hire.

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