Transport for London has signed the largest public-sector sponsorship deal in the world, allowing Santander to become the offical sponsor of the London cycle hire scheme.
Worth £43.75 million, or £7 million a year, the bank will pay £6.25 million annually for seven years and spend a further £1 million a year to promote and grow cycle hire in the capital. The investment represents a 25 per cent increase in real terms over the prior Barclays sponsorship.
The new contract does not mention the capital's growing network of cycle superhighways.
As part of the investment, further docking stations and thus more bikes will be added. It is expected there will be 11,500 bikes, 748 docking stations and 32 service vehicles now in operation from April.
A new 'Santander Cycles' app has also been created for all mobile users, which will help users locate their nearest docking station.
For a raft of statistics from the first four years, including membership numbers, usage and costs, see here.
Images by: 2015 Getty Images
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “As everyone knows, London buses, phone kiosks and post boxes are red. In Santander Cycles, we have a new red icon symbolising the Capital to Londoners, and the world. Santander’s marketing expertise will help us take the Cycle Hire scheme to a new level, and I am thrilled to welcome them.
“With my Cycling Vision about to bear fruit in new Superhighways, Quietway cycle routes and better junctions, there will be more opportunities than ever for Santander Cycles. It couldn’t be a better time to get involved in cycling.”
Graeme Craig, TfL's Director of Commercial Development, said: “We are really excited that our new partnership with Santander will help us build on the success of London’s iconic Cycle Hire scheme. It represents great value for customers, who will see improvements over the coming years including more bikes, more docking stations and new ways to access the cycles. Londoners and visitors to the Capital will see our iconic bikes change from blue to red over the next few months as they cycle around the city.”
Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK, said: “The Santander Cycles scheme is a great example of our commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate across the UK. We are committed to making the experience of using Santander Cycles as simple, personal and fair as possible. It is why we will launch a world-first app to enable users to engage with the scheme from the palm of their hand; offer a more rewarding experience with cash back on every journey for customers of our 1|2|3 Credit Card; and why we will be looking to have Cycle Champions in all of Santander’s London branches to help users make the most of the scheme and their city.”
Over 40 million journeys have been made by hire bike since the 2010 launch. Usage rose by a quarter during 2014. 80 per cent of members renewed their subscriptions too.
Barclays were previously able to claw back sponsorship money when rider numbers fell below targets, with the prior sponsor havign clawed back at least £2 million of its package. No sponsorship money was received the hire scheme's expansion into south west London.