Some of the commuter-targeted guided cycle rides have flopped in London this summer, according to the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle.
The guided ride from Hammersmith to central London was cancelled on June 30th after only one rider turned up. A further guided ride the following week was also abandoned, as was another on July 14th after attracting one participant again. The guided commuter ride programme reportedly cost £30,000.
However, an attempt to encourage Hammersmith and Fulham riders to take part in central London’s Skyride was more successful, seeing 215 cyclists take part from the area – suggesting guided commuter rides are not the best way to encourage cycling in the city.
"Last year’s Cycle Fridays were an expensive flop," blasted Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Lib Dem London Assembly Group and vice chair of the London Assembly transport committee.
"Yet instead of learning any lessons the Mayor insisted on going ahead this year with guided commuter cycle rides before suddenly cancelling them half way through the summer.
"There is much that needs to be done to encourage cycling across London, but guided commuter cycle rides are clearly not the answer. The Mayor should instead concentrate on expanding the bike hire scheme and making roads safer for cyclists."
A TfL spokesperson responded by saying the guided rides were just one of many measures laid on during the Tube strikes, and that ‘tens of thousands’ of Londoners took to their bikes to get to work.
"We believe that guided rides could be really effective in improving confidence and safety amongst people who are keen to take to two wheels.
"However we were always been clear that the rides would only be laid on if the demand justified the expense. The programme was advertised widely but there was low take up, which led to the remaining summer rides programme being cancelled."