Mayor hails bright future for Cycle Hire

03 October 2016

•         New Cycle Hire contract with Serco includes creation of a lighter, more comfortable and more manoeuvrable bike

•         Serco will continue to maintain and distribute the fleet of Santander Cycles until 2022


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has welcomed the next generation of London’s cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles, after Transport for London (TfL) signed a deal that will bring an upgraded UK-manufactured bike to the capital’s streets.


TfL has awarded Serco a new five year contract to distribute and maintain the popular hire scheme. This includes the manufacture of an upgraded bike, which will be made by British company Pashley Cycles at its factory in Stratford-upon-Avon.


This next generation bike will retain the popular features of the existing model, but will be lighter and more manoeuvrable with smaller wheels, a lower frame, a new gear hub and a more comfortable seat. It is anticipated that they will be on the streets in 2018, with around 500 supplied each year to replace older models.


The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the next generation of bikes for our popular cycle hire scheme. It’s already known across the world as a convenient way to get around our city, so it’s great news that these lighter British-made bikes will make it even easier for everyone. Cycling is good for our health, air quality and congestion, and that’s exactly why I’m working so hard to make it safer and easier for all Londoners.”


Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's General Manager of Santander Cycles, said: “We’ve had six successful years of London’s cycle hire scheme but we’re looking to the future and are excited to be able to bring the next-generation of Santander Cycles to London’s streets.


“The new bikes will be lighter and slightly smaller, to encourage even more people to have a go, and will be made by Pashley Cycles, which has a rich history of producing bikes in the UK dating back to 1926.”


Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “This is fantastic news and as a regular user of Santander Cycles I am really excited that we have the opportunity to help continue to provide this iconic service for London’s residents and visitors.


“Our team has worked tirelessly to help give London the best cycle scheme in the world. Our challenge now is to build on the past six successful years and deliver an even better service for our client and everyone in London.”


Steven Bell, Pashley’s General Manager, said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious and important scheme. Although we are still in the product development stage, our Research and Development team’s design has been selected by TfL as one that meets its requirements. We will now work hard to turn that design into a production ready bike to bring to London’s streets.”


Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer, Santander said: "Since we took over the sponsorship of the iconic Santander Cycles 18 months ago, we have helped make it easier and more rewarding to cycle in London. We're always looking at ways to improve the scheme and encourage more people to give it a try. These new cycles will make it even easier and more accessible for people looking to enjoy London from a new perspective."


Serco has been responsible for the operation of London’s cycle hire scheme since it launched in 2010. To integrate the scheme more fully with TfL’s other services, and to make operations more efficient, the running of the scheme will be largely split between operations and customer service from next year. Serco will retain the former, and the payments and customer service elements will be brought into TfL’s wider customer service structure to deliver a single point of contact for customers – giving a better, easier experience.


Customers will then be able to use a single log-in to see all of their TfL travel history. The integration will also pave the way for future discounts on Cycle Hire charges for customers who have reached a daily caps after travelling on other TfL services.

Notes to editors

•The value of the TfL contract with Serco is approximately £79.7m. The contract will be published within the standard period of 20 working days, as set out in TfL’s Transparency Strategy, once commercially sensitive details are redacted.


•Pashley is England’s longest established bicycle manufacturer and celebrated its 90th anniversary this year.


•The next generation Santander Cycles will be introduced on-street from next year as the older bikes are retired. The new model includes several improvements:

o   2kg lighter than existing models

o   A new gear hub for smoother shifting

o   A more comfortable gel saddle

o  Smaller 24” wheels and 10mm lower frame


•There is a fleet of 11,500 Santander Cycles. Around 6,000 currently in circulation date back to the launch of the scheme in July 2010. These will be some of the first to be replaced.


•The most active Santander Cycle currently in the fleet has been hired for 5,119 trips.


•The Santander Cycles app, launched in May 2015 and developed by Corethree, has now been downloaded 275,000 times. Currently eight per cent of all Santander Cycles hire are made through the app.


•Since the launch of London’s cycle hire scheme in July 2010 more than 54 million journeys have been made on the cycles. There are now more than 785 docking stations with almost 22,000 docking points across central London – from Camden Town in the north to Wandsworth in the south; Hammersmith in the west to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the east.


•Santander Cycles can be hired from as little as £2 a day for unlimited number of 30 minute journeys. Regular users can register for annual membership, which equates to 25p per day and get the same unlimited number of journeys under 30 minutes each without paying anything more.


•The weekend of July 30 and 31 saw an unprecedented 92,527 hires, beating the previous record from May this year of 89,833. July saw a record 1,188,428 bikes hired, beating the previously highest month of July 2014 when 1,183,182 bikes were hired.