The next generation of Santander Cycles have today arrived on London’s streets, with hundreds of new bikes to be added to the Capital’s flagship cycle hire scheme every year.
The bikes have been made by Pashley of Stratford upon Avon. Instead of 26-inch wheels they feature 24-inch wheels, and are nippier and more stable. BikeBiz was given an exclusive first-ride on the new bike alongside a Pashley factory tour – audio of the ride and the tour can be heard on the Spokesmen podcast, published today.
The new Santander Cycles will continue to be managed by the services company Serco, and they have been designed to be easier to maintain, meaning more bikes will be available to hire more often, reducing maintenance costs.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s great news that the first of our brand-new cycle hire bikes have arrived on London’s streets. Tens of thousands of Londoners and tourists enjoy using the bikes to get around our city every single day, so by making them more comfortable and manoeuvrable we’re hoping they’ll be even more popular. That’s good for our health, our air quality and for tackling congestion.”
Speaking at a launch at Wellington Arch this morning London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said:
"The bikes have been designed and built by England's longest established cycle manufacturer, Pashley Cycles, as part of an all British industrial team assembled by Serco. The bikes feature technological capabilities such as bluetooth and the capacity for GPS technology, which will allow Serco to track the performance of the bikes."
Pashley CEO Adrian Williams said: “I am immensely proud of our team’s achievement in successfully developing a completely new bicycle for London. It is a bicycle of exceptional quality, designed with the rider’s safety and enjoyment in mind, whilst ensuring that maintenance and operating costs are kept to a minimum. It has been produced and delivered within a very challenging timescale."
TfL’s head of cycle Hire David Eddington welcomed the new bikes: “We’re proud to operate an established record breaking cycle hire scheme and to have designed a new bike that will last for years to come. We’re confident that people will find these bikes easier to ride and that they will encourage even more to try the scheme.”
Santander's chief marketing officer Keith Moor said: “The new cycles have been designed to meet the evolving needs of London as an always on, technologically connected smart city.”
Last year was a record-breaking year for Santander Cycles with 10.3m hires – 4.4 percent up on 2015. This year there have been more than 8.7m hires, with five of the nine months beating year-on-year records for the number of journeys being made.
As well as the new bike design, 2017 will see Santander Cycles extend into Brixton with seven new docking stations, providing space for up to 200 bikes installed across the borough by the end of the year.