Barclays Cycle Superhighways are routes which run into Central London from the outskirts, providing a fast and safe journey with space dedicated to cyclists. The lanes are 1.5m wide and there is extra room provided at junctions to give cyclists more space. There are currently four highways in operation – CS2 Bow to Aldgate, CS3 Barking to Tower Gateway, CS7 Merton to the City and CS8 Wandsworth to Westminster – with a further eight to open by 2015. These will run through 25 London boroughs and are expected to cater for 120,000 new cycle trips every day.
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About Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays Cycle Hire has been an indispensable fixture of the capital since its launch in July 2010. London’s first major bike hire system was a huge project, with 6,000 bicycles spread across 400 docking stations in the city centre. It followed the successful model of Barcelona and Paris, who both have thriving bike hire networks. While London is a much larger city than its pedal-friendly cousins, providing a far greater expanse to traverse, it is also relatively flat – making it well-adapted to cyclists. The easy terrain, combined with the inexpensiveness of Barclays Cycle Hire (access fee is just £1 for 24 hours, then journeys of up to 30 minutes are free) meant that Barclays Cycle Hire was instantly popular. In its first year, more than six million trips were undertaken by Barclays Cycle Hire, and a whopping 29,900 trips were made on the busiest day. TFL provided a neat piece of perspective when it stated that, in terms of distance, customers had 'cycled to the moon and back 13 times in the first six months of operation'.
Barclays Cycle Hire is designed to cater for all walks (or rather, pedals) of cyclist. Unlike Barcelona, where the Bicing system is only open to residents, Barclays Cycle Hire is designed to welcome tourists and travellers, with docking stations displaying jargon-free instructions in 18 languages. Several considerations have been made for safety, with fixed kinetic-powered lighting, and a nifty chain guard that prevents trouser snagging. Racers might argue they’re not the speediest of steeds, but they provide a sedate and comfortable ride, a beginner-friendly simple system of three gears and an upright position. That means anyone who has ridden in the past, however long ago, can quickly adapt to a Barclays Cycle Hire – after all, you never forget how.
Barclays Cycle Hire - A map of the scheme's East End expansion
The Barclays Cycle Hire area has extended beyond Central London to include the Borough of Tower Hamlets, as well as the north of Shoreditch in the Borough of Hackney. People living in Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar can now see docking stations in their communities.
In total 2,300 more cycles and 4,800 extra docking points have been installed across the existing and new Barclays Cycle Hire area. The scheme covers around 65 square kilometres of the capital and more than 8,000 hire bikes are available from 6,000 docking points at hundreds of locations across Central and East London.
Approximately 12 new docking stations connect the existing cycle hire zone to Westfield White City and there are docking stations on the grounds of Westfield London itself.