London's bike hire scheme keeps breaking records

Santander Cycles have been hired more than ever before for six months in a row

Santander Cycles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

London's bike hire scheme keeps breaking its own records, with Santander Cycles being hired more than ever before for each of the last six months.

Data released by Transport for London on Friday shows that for each month since September, the number of hires has broken the previous record for that month.

In February, 750,000 hires were made across the capital, which works out at average of almost 27,000 per day. January was also a record month for the scheme, with 748,000 hires, or 24,000 per day, despite the inclement weather.

The London bike hire scheme also had its record year in 2021, with figures showing that 11 million bikes were hired out last year.

Will Norman, London's Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said in a press release that TfL was "determined" to build on this cycling boom.

“What an incredible, record breaking six months it has been for Santander cycles," Norman said. "I’m delighted that 750,000 rides took place in February, the highest ever number of rides in that month, echoing the wider trend of ever increasing numbers of Londoners choosing to cycle. 

"We know that many people took up cycling for the first time or returned to it during the pandemic, and we are determined to keep Londoners cycling and build on this further. This includes introducing electric  Santander Cycles to the network and expanding the scheme to new areas to help ensure a green and sustainable recovery for our city."

The Santander Cycles are popularly known as "Boris Bikes", thanks to Boris Johnson being Mayor of London when they were introduced.

They are hireable from fixed docking stations around London, and are available on pay as you go or fixed tariffs for more regular use.

David Eddington, TfL's Head of Cycle Hire, said that electric bikes were coming to the network, a move that should make the scheme more accessible for all.

"Our popular cycle hire scheme has gone from strength to strength and we're delighted to have recorded six record months for the scheme in a row," he said. "The scheme has played a vital role helping millions of Londoners commute to work, explore the capital and exercise, as well as helping thousands of Londoners try out cycling for the first time. 

"We're looking forward to introducing electric bikes and expanding our iconic cycle hire scheme this year, so even more Londoners and visitors can discover the benefits of cycling in the capital.”    

TfL figures show that more people are cycling in the capital, with the numbers increasing from 21% of Londoners cycling at least once in 2019/20 to 27% in 2020/21.

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