Cycle hire scheme good – but more needed for outer London boroughs says sustainable transport charity

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The announcement on the introduction of the London Cycle Hire Scheme is a welcome addition to the capital, but, according to sustainable transport charity Sustrans, its focus on central London cycle journeys needs to be widened to get even more people on bikes.

Carl Pittam, Sustrans’ Director in London , said: 'The London Cycle Hire scheme is a positive move for helping to mainstream cycling and raise its profile. But, the scheme is only active in central London at present, despite Transport for London analysis highlighting that 70 per cent of the potential for cycling is in the outer London Boroughs.

'Sustrans would like to see more such schemes catering for journeys outside central London and more emphasis – and funding - going to support initiatives to encourage children, young people and women to take to two wheels.'

In addition to the fact that the scheme is just based in, basically, central London the bikes look and feel rather heavy and seem to me, at least, of a dubious design and better ones, that might have even been cheaper, could have been had.

Furthermore, the luggage carrying capability is nigh on zero making those bicycles useful, maybe, for someone just needing to go from A to B without the need of carrying laptop, briefcase, or shopping.

It would appear that this is, yet again, one of those schemes by the office of the London Mayor that has not been thought out too well and was not put out to proper consultation with people and NGOs that might have been advising them a little.

Visiting the Cycle Show at Earl's Court last year or so would not have been a bad idea either for those that were working on the scheme. It does not look as if they did though.

© 2010