Cycle Hire charges to be simplified in the New Year

15 December 2014
"This has been a fantastic year for Cycle Hire, hitting record numbers of riders and increasing the number of bikes and docking stations we have. We're looking forward to another bumper year ahead, as more people reap the health and convenience benefits of jumping on to one of our bikes to get around the capital."

Paying for Barclays Cycle Hire will become even easier from 2 January when the hire charges are simplified to a flat £2 per 30 minutes after the initial free 30 minute period. The £2 daily bike access and £90 yearly membership will remain unchanged.

Barclays Cycle Hire now covers over 100km² of London with more than 10,000 bikes and Transport for London (TfL) is working with a range of land owners and London boroughs to identify further sites for docking stations to intensify the scheme within its current footprint. Increasing the density of docking points, particularly in central London, will provide greater opportunity to hire and dock bikes and the redistribution operation will be more efficient.

New docking stations are already planned near Putney Pier, Vauxhall and Tower Bridge, bringing around 100 new docking points to the scheme. TfL recently announced plans for eight new docking stations, with a total of 320 docking points, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Close to 1000 further new docking point locations have also been identified that could be delivered across London, subject to planning permission, by early 2016.

The Cycle Hire scheme continues to grow in popularity and hit record levels of usage this year. This summer saw record numbers of cycle hire journeys, including over a million journeys each month between June and September and the total number of hires this year has already exceeded the previous record of 9.5 million made in 2012. Since the scheme launched in 2010, more than 36 million journeys have been made on Cycle Hire bikes and it has become an iconic addition to the London landscape.

Customer research shows that overall satisfaction of Cycle Hire is high, with a record 83% of current members saying they would recommend the scheme to their friends and family. Feedback, however, has highlighted that customers feel the current ride charges are confusing and have led to complaints. Although a tiered ride charge structure is a common feature of cycle hire schemes around the world, TfL has taken the decision to move away from it in response to the customer feedback. To ensure the scheme remains customer friendly, the structure will be simplified so that after purchasing a daily or yearly bike access, the first 30 minutes of each journey continues to be free and longer journeys will cost just £2 for each extra 30 minutes.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `This has been a fantastic year for Cycle Hire, hitting record numbers of riders and increasing the number of bikes and docking stations we have. We're looking forward to another bumper year ahead, as more people reap the health and convenience benefits of jumping on to one of our bikes to get around the capital.'

Nick Aldworth, General Manager Cycle Hire, said: `It has always been our priority to make the Cycle Hire scheme easy to use, and we're acting on our customers' feedback to make the charge structure simpler. After making use of the first free 30 minutes, cyclists will only have to calculate £2 for each further 30 minutes - removing any complexity and confusion. Cycle Hire is a great way to get around London, for fun or commuting.'

The vast majority of Cycle Hire trips will be unaffected by the change to the charge structure - 97% of member journeys and 76% of casual hires fall within the free 30 minute period, to which there will be no changes.

In an additional move to simplify the scheme, the 7 day access period is also being withdrawn from 2 January. Currently only 2% of hires are made with the 7 day access and users will be encouraged to take advantage of the option of a yearly membership, which equates to full access for only 25 pence per day.

  • The simplification of the Cycle Hire charge structure is estimated to be revenue neutral and was driven by the objective of making the scheme simpler for customers to use.
  • The change to the charge structure will be in place from 00:01 Friday 2 January 2015.
  • A daily bike access pass or yearly membership must be purchased before cycling. Bikes must be returned within 24 hours. A charge of up to £300 may be charged for an unreturned or damaged bike.
  • The current (2014) charge structure after purchasing the daily or yearly access is: first 30 minutes free, £1 for up to 1 hour, £4 for up to 1 hour 30 minutes, £6 for up to 2 hours, £10 for up to 2 hours 30 minutes, £15 for up to 3 hours, £35 for up to 6 hours and £50 for up to 24 hours.
  • Customers wishing to speak to a Cycle Hire advisor or become a member can call on local rate number 0343 222 6666.
  • Barclays Cycle Hire is the second largest cycle hire scheme in Europe with more than 10,000 bikes at over 700 docking stations, including throughout Hyde Park. More than 90 London Underground stations (including the entire Circle line) and a number of major rail stations such as Clapham Junction, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Kings Cross St Pancras are within a short walk of a docking station.
  • In November, TfL announced plans for the expansion of Barclays Cycle Hire to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • The latest customer research reports on Barclays Cycle Hire can be found here:
  • To help Cycle Hire users discover more of London, TfL has created a number of self-guided leisure cycle routes, many of which are on quieter roads. Popular routes include London's Secret Gardens, Saturday Markets, Independent Shops and Markets, Quirky London and Sporting Sights which takes in famous sporting venues such as Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's football ground, and the Kia Oval cricket ground.
  • Cycle hire users can pick up a free copy of the "Explore London with Barclays Cycle Hire" map, which contains the leisure routes, at central London Tube stations, London Overground stations or by visiting