The appearance of my borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has been enhanced recently by the arrival of the Boris Bikes. In December, the first month of the scheme, 13,000 journeys were made in my borough. But in January, the number of cycle hire journeys doubled to more than 26,000 in the scheme’s second month – an average of about 866 journeys a day.
I suspect that February will show a further rise. During the tube strikes you had to get to a docking station early to get one. Many people were prompted to give them a try for the first time.
The Mayor of London cycle hire scheme has also extended to south London. Clapham Junction is now second only to Waterloo for the number of Boris Bikes at a single location. There is strong demand to widen the area they cover.
Another form of transport that is growing in popularity is the River Bus – where you can drink coffee and use wifi on your way to work. The Putney to Blackfriars route has seen a 130 per cent increase in passenger numbers since its re-launch in April 2013. There are to be new passenger piers at Plantation Wharf and Battersea Power Station.
This innovative approach to transport is very much to the credit of the Mayor. It is not just those who use the River Bus o the Boris Bikes who benefit – but also the rest of us who have some much needed respite from traffic jams.