London's flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme celebrates its first anniversary this week; and to mark the occasion today the Mayor has confirmed that Barclays Bank has agreed to provide another Â£25 million of sponsorship.
The extra funding will help the scheme to expand throughout west and south-west London by the summer of 2013, and also sees Barclays sponsorship extended by three years to 2018. The additional Â£25m takes Barclays total investment in the scheme to Â£50m.
The Mayor has asked Transport for London to prepare plans for a westward expansion of the scheme through the boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth and Kensington & Chelsea.
It has also been confirmed that Westfield London Shopping Centre is to provide funding that will allow an early taster of the western expansion by extending Barclays Cycle Hire to the shopping centre by spring 2012. Approximately twelve new docking stations will connect the existing cycle hire zone to Westfield White City and six docking stations will potentially be on the grounds of Westfield London itself.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: "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."
Last year the Mayor announced that by spring 2012 the Barclays Cycle Hire area will extend beyond central London to include all of the Borough of Tower Hamlets as well as North Shoreditch in the Borough of Hackney. People living in Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar will also see docking stations built in their communities.
Altogether 2,000 more cycles and 4,200 extra docking points will be installed across the existing and new Barclays Cycle Hire area when the second phase of expansion is complete. At that stage the scheme will cover around 65kmÂ² of the Capital and around 8,000 hire bikes will be available from 14,400 docking points at hundreds of locations across central and east London.
Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, said: "Barclays Cycle Hire has undoubtedly been a huge success so far. Now even more people across London will benefit from this pioneering scheme, which makes a positive difference to everyday life in London, its people and its economy. Barclays commitment to Citizenship, including the role we play in the communities we serve, is one of Barclays four execution priorities. Barclays Cycle Hire is a visible example of that commitment, and we are proud to be associated with the scheme and its further expansion."
Michael Gutman, European Managing Director for Westfield, said: "We are pleased to support Barclays Cycle Hire which will compliment the extensive public transport and road network surrounding Westfield London. The initiative has been a huge success in its first year and the extension will make London's top destinations even more accessible."
Cllr Russell King, Wandsworth's transport spokesman 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, says: "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."
Londoners using the Mayor's flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme have made over six million cycle journeys since it launched just one year ago. On its busiest day of operation so far more than 29,200 cycle journeys were made using Barclays Cycle Hire. Over 128,000 people are now Barclays Cycle Hire members and casual customers have already made over one million cycle journeys since the scheme was launched to casual customers just seven months ago.
TfL's Managing Director 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."