Barclays Cycle Hire staff have voted to take industrial action, reports the BBC.
The industrial action follows the imposition of a two per cent pay increase, a stop to overtime and shift changes. In response, the union is banning overtime work from midnight on Tuesday and is considering a full-strike.
Should that go ahead London’s bike shops may be advised to shout about their own hire bike service (if they have one) ahead of the strikes.
So how many cycle hire users could be affected? According to stats from Transport for London, in May the total number of cycle hires by casual users on weekdays hit 168,608, while for members it was 410,679 – making a grand total of 579,287. Assuming that figure was for the entirity of May, that equates to around 25,000 hires on a week day, according to the (highly questionable) BikeBiz calculator.
The top five docking stations for hires (in May) are Waterloo Station, Belgrove Street (Kings Cross), Hyde Park Corner, Speakers Corner (also Hyde Park) and Hop Exchange, the Borough.
It is hoped that talk of strike will produce ‘meaningful talks’, said Bob Crow, RMT union boss.
Expressing his disappointment, AndrewHill, contract director at Serco for Barclays Cycle Hire, said: “We will make every effort to minimise possible disruption in service to the thousands of Londoners who rely on the scheme to get around the City every day."
While undoubtedly successful, and cited as a key factor in making London more cycle friendly, Barclays Cycle Hire has hit the headlines for costing the taxpayer £11million a year, leading to criticism that Barclays sponsorship was perhaps given away too cheaply – particularly with similar hire scheme in the likes of Paris and New York requiring no taxpayer money. More of that on The Daily Mail.