London cycle hire expansion steers clear of South East London

Ross Lydall has a copy of a map showing how the TfL London cycle hire scheme will be expanded in to the East End and further in to West and South West London early next year. In addition to creating new docking stations, the project will involve more bikes being added to the most popular docking stations.


The bad news of course is that none of the docking stations will come anywhere further South East than Bermondsey. The scheme is designed with casual cyclists and tourists in mind. For the former group, the relative lack of employment hubs and river crossings in the South East and East are significant impediments to making a South East expansion viable, while for the latter, the Old Kent and Jamaica Roads represent formidable barriers to hotspots like Greenwich. We are probably doomed to be forever without them.

34 comments:

darryl said...

There's no Conservative votes in SE London, are there? Plenty around Wandsworth and west London, though.

It's the same reason the scheme hasn't gone further north.

Still, on the day it's been revealed Blackfriars Bridge will be buggered up for cyclists, it shows how skilled Boris is at burying bad news with a gullible media.

darryl said...

Oh, and as for Greenwich - you'd be surprised at the number of people who come down the Thames Path on the hire bikes. A few weeks ago I spotted a very tired looking pair at the Thames Barrier...

biff bifferson said...

we've had one at lewisham library (note the wire 'lock')
http://ow.ly/i/dbnN

TM said...

No conservative votes in SE London?

Who is the MP for Orpington then?

hladik said...

I've seen at least two in attendance at Frank's in Peckham...

Anonymous said...

The Old Kent Road - a formidiable barrier?

It's hardly Libya...

Anonymous said...

With the one in the tree its no wonder.

Brockley Nick said...

Darryl, the East End is hardly a Tory hotbed. I'm sure there's a small amount of politics involved in the drawing up of this map, but the main reasons are surely physical.

I'm sure a number of people use them to tour the south east, but TfL have to decide where they'll get most bang for their buck and South East, cut off from northern docking stations by the river and with relatively few tourist draws between Bermondsey and Greenwich, won't be high up the list.

darryl said...

Darryl, the East End is hardly a Tory hotbed. I'm sure there's a small amount of politics involved in the drawing up of this map, but the main reasons are surely physical.

You'd be surprised - the two Isle of Dogs wards is represented by Conservative councillors, and other wards in the south of Tower Hamlets borough, which will benefit from the next extension, are marginals. (The biggest cycle hire station will actually be by the north side of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.)

As for physical barriers - where are the hills that stop the scheme being extended at least to Camberwell, Peckham and the Rotherhithe peninsula? Sure, once you get south of the A202 there's an issue, but inner west London is already more than well-served by public transport, something inner SE London certainly isn't.

This is just pre-election posturing.

Headhunter said...

Absolutely Darryl, for cyclists who lack the confidence to negotiate OKR and Jamaica Rds, the Thames Path is a shared pedestrian/cycling facility and IME as soon as you're quarter of a mile east of Tower Bridge it is pretty much completely deserted and makes the perfect route to get across to Greenwich etc.

Brockley Nick said...

I don't mean hills, I mean the lack of jobs and tourist attractions in the South East. The scheme isn't really designed for commuters, it's designed for high-volume, short-distance journeys: popping from one meeting to another, touring the major tourism centres, etc.

The five main boroughs for London tourism are: Westminster, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and the City of London. Tower Hamlets is home to London's most important employment centre outside of the centre of town. The bike map just reflects the reality of the way London is built.

It's not something I'm happy about, but I really think there's more to it than simple politics.

As a counter-factual, would Ken's map have looked substantially different? Perhaps he'd have used the scheme to help to change perceptions of London (in a way that Boris would never consider, since he is all about reinforcing the status quo in London) but I doubt it would have been significantly different.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - the fact it's "pretty much deserted" east of Tower Bridge is presumably one of the things that persuaded them not to loads of bike stations there.

As I say, there's an argument to try to use bike stations as a catalyst to make people change the way they think about London - they clearly haven't chosen to do that - but that's not the same thing as saying they are just mapping bike stations to tory voters.

TM said...

It would be nice to have a few large docking stations at local stations say Lewisham Greenwich New Cross Blackheath etc so that we could use them for a trip into town and then later back out again.

Not commuting as such but weekend or evening leisure trips.

I suppose however that they are aimed at Tourists not residents who can purchase their own bike

kolp said...

Just been watching the BBC local tv and notice that Barclays have received a great deal regarding their sponsorship of this scheme. £5 million a year to have: their logo on all the bikes, their corporate colour on the so-called super cycle lane and to my mind rather shockingly access to the personal details of the users of the scheme.

The scheme

Monkeyboy said...

Well yes, it's not unreasonable for a sponsor to want their name on the infrastructure though is it? It's not done cos they like bikes. The access to user data is disturbing though, be interesting to understand more about what that actually means.

Anonymous said...

The bikes are a general hazzard and would certainly be unsafe on Old Kent Road. I cycle every day to town and the barclays bikes are best placed in slower environments.
Anyone who feels strongly about cycle saftey and the current TFL policy should join tomorrows critical mass cycle event/blackfrairs protest (google for link)..until cycling is safer the borris scheme is purely (1) good marketing for a bank (2) never going to take off for the mass of popultaion in se london

Anonymous said...

The reason it's not being rolled out in SE is simple

1) Heath and safety obsessives (see above)
2) NIMBYs

People in the west have more 'get up and go' about them, and hence they're getting treated first.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather there was more provision for people who OWN their own bikes and not these Boris/Barclays Bikes.

Anonymous said...

we need more bike lock up points and cycle lanes.


I don't care about the Boris/Barclays bikes.

mb said...

@Anon 22:18 next time you "get up and go" please remember to tell a grown up and ensure that you familiarise yourself with the latest facile generalisation about H&S gone mad/eurocrats/NIMBYs/Asylum Seekers/Breathing Gives You Cancer or any other brainless Daily Express headline.

Thanks awfully.

Anonymous said...

I believe anon has a point. A Borisbike station in Brockley would sit rotting and even worse - full of bikes due to non-use, so no one could even visit Brockley if they wanted to. Remember how folk on here described the "nightmare" of trying to "cross Coulgate street when it has cars parked on it"? How are they ever going to muster the Herculean strength and determination required to put a credit card into a slot, sit on a bike and ride it somewhere without having a funny turn?

DJ said...

You can tell it's the school holidays. Haven't you got homework to do Anon?

Headhunter said...

I take your point about the Thames Path but I would have thought a few docking stations across SE London would have been ideal, transport across the south of London is pretty appalling, if you want to get from Brockley to, say Clapham, you pretty much have to go into Central London, change and then come out again. Either that or take the London Br to Victoria loop train which takes aaages, or take 2-3 buses.

These bikes would be really useful to make short hop trips across south London...

I disagree that they are for tourists, plenty of people I know use them to commute although perhaps not more than a couple of miles...

Headhunter said...

"The reason it's not being rolled out in SE is simple

1) Heath and safety obsessives (see above)
2) NIMBYs

People in the west have more 'get up and go' about them, and hence they're getting treated first."

Believe me there were plenty of NIMBYs in the conservation areas of north and west London who were vehemently opposed to Boris bike stations in their neighbourhoods! Many of the planned stations were cancelled but there are still a lot about in these areas.

I don't understand how health and safety would only affect SE London? If there's a H&S issue with Bozo Bikes then it would affect the whole of London surely?

MalB said...

Cross south-London public transport is dreadful. The opening of the next ELLX will help but the closing of the LB-Victoria loop will hinder.

I regularly go from SE14 to Dulwich. The journey, as the fly crows, is 3 miles door to door. By train or bus, the journey time is about 45 minutes. You can walk it more quickly!

Paolo said...

To suggest that this is due to politics must be one of the more silly things that I've read on this site.

Darryl - Boris already has the conservative votes doesn't he? And therefore, if this were about attracting votes, surely the logical plan would be to extend the area to places where non-conservatives are in the majority, thereby attracting votes that he previously would not have had.

As Brockley Nick points out - this is all about the way London is built - which is why the bikes cover London's principle boroughs for tourism and employment

Anonymous said...

If there is bike rack on the North end of the Greenwich foot tunnel, why not one on the South side?

People have been seen carrying these heavy monstrosities up the stairs.

I would have thought there would have been a great demand for cycling between Greenwich and Tower Bridge along the Thames path.

darryl said...

"which is why the bikes cover London's principle boroughs for tourism and employment"

er, Wandsworth? Hammersmith & Fulham? Really?

tamisn said...

@ Anon - agree, how daft. There is lots of space around the southern end of the tunnel for a bike rack - a really good site I would have thought.
They also should allow bikes on the DLR on occasions when the foot tunnel is closed. We had an NHS meeting one evening and one of the key speakers did not make it because he got to the foot tunnel and it was closed and the routes round were just too far for him to get there in time, and even more so get home again before it was impossibly late.

Headhunter said...

I've been on the DLR with my bike. I had no idea I wasn't supposed to. No one said anything. He should have just chanced it...

All he needed to do was get on at Cutty Sark and make it for 1 stop and if he had got kicked off at Island Gdns he coulda just cycled from there once across the river. Just make sure you get on the half of the DLR train that the conductor isn't in and he can't do anything til yuo're across the river anyway, for 1 stop you're safe...

Tamsin said...

He was coming south. Didn't go into details with him about how hard he tried to get to us - seemed a bit rude. It was a 7pm meeting so he might have still be in the rush hour restrictions if there are any.

Headhunter said...

Ah, I suppose during rush hour would be a bit tough, wouldn't like to try it then. I avoid all trains and tubes with the bike at rush hour. Only off peak...

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James Brown said...

Most of people use them to tour the south east.Special day goes smoothly without any problem you should make sure that one of the important things you do is hire a London Transport.

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