In the week of its first anniversary, Barclays Cycle Hire has received a commitment from Barclays to provide a further £25m, enabling a significant extension of the scheme in the next two years.
West and South-West London will see the scheme arrive by the summer of 2013, through the boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, and Kensington and Chelsea.
Barclays sponsorship of the hire scheme will now run an extra three years into 2018. Westfield London Shopping centre is also to provide funding for an ‘early taster’ of the western expansion. Around 12 new docking stations will connect the current hire zone to Westfield White City – six will potentially be on Westfield London grounds.
There has been no shortage of quotes from various parties on the news, not least from London Mayor Boris Johnson himself: “One year ago I launched a glorious new form of public transport in London. Today it is testament to the huge impact of Barclays Cycle Hire and to the rapidly increasing popularity of pedal power in London that I can announce we are now planning to swathe a huge chunk of the west of our city with our beautiful blue bikes.
“My thanks go to Barclays for the benevolence they have demonstrated with their latest bestowal of funds and I am pleased that we can confirm the extension of their sponsorship agreement. By working together we are putting thousands more Londoners on two wheels.
“My thanks also go to the Boroughs who have been champing at the bit for an expansion of this scheme, and to Westfield London for providing an investment that from next year will enable hordes of shoppers to make the journey to their glittering halls by the cleanest, greenest and most enjoyable form of transport available.”
Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: "These bikes have revolutionised the way people travel around London and we look forward to seeing the benefits extended southwest."
Cllr Harry Phibbs, Hammersmith & Fulham’s Council’s cabinet member for community engagement, added: "Rolling out Barclays Cycle Hire westwards is the best transport news the borough has enjoyed since the extension of the congestion charge was scrapped. Pedal power promises to relieve some of the pressure on our congested roads and jam-packed tubes, reduce pollution and give residents another option when choosing how to get around. The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme will also make it easier for visitors to get to our major attractions."
TfL’s MD of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire users have clearly embraced the scheme since we launched just one year ago. The bikes are now an increasingly popular sight across central London and have transformed they way people make short trips around the Capital. Work is already well underway for the eastern extension which will be completed by spring 2012.”