Londoners and visitors to the capital will be able to explore the beauty of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on two wheels more easily after the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) confirmed today that the capital's flagship Cycle Hire scheme will be expanding to the Park.   The expansion of eight new docking stations with a total of 320 docking points will fully integrate Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into the Cycle Hire area (which already covers 100km2 ).

This would open the 560 acre Park up to cyclists of all abilities and deliver a further cycling legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Work on the expansion will begin next year and will be completed by early 2016.  

The docking stations will be placed at key locations around the Park, including the ArcelorMittalOrbit, the London Aquatics Centre and the Lee Valley Velopark, providing visitors with a quick, cheap and fun way to explore the Park's many features. Three docking stations would also be installed around Hackney Wick station, linking the Park's expansion with the existing hire area. Expanding the scheme will also make it easier for people to use Cycle Hire bikes to visit Waltham Forest, which is currently being transformed for cyclists as one of the Mayor's "Mini Hollands", as well as use a new proposed Quietway from Aldgate to Hainault, which is expected to be delivered by 2016.  

TfL is also working with a range of land owners across London to identify further docking station locations that can be funded through developer contributions. New docking stations are already planned near Putney Pier, Vauxhall and Tower Bridge bringing around 100 additional docking points to the scheme, with more currently being considered across central London.   Since the scheme launched in July 2010, it has grown in size and popularity, expanding to east London in March 2012 and to southwest London late last year. The news of Cycle Hire coming to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park comes as the latest figures for ridership show that more than 35 million hires have been made since the scheme began, with more than a million hires a month being made in each of the last four months. Earlier this year, the scheme broke its previous record for the number of hires in a single day, with almost 50,000 journeys made within 24 hours.  

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `Bringing our fantastic Cycle Hire scheme to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a major milestone in the continued delycrafication of cycling in our city. The Park is already a wonderful place to spend time and the addition of a fleet of hire bikes will make it an even more enticing place to visit for Londoners and visitors to the capital. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or a total novice, I can think of no better way to take in all the sights of the Park than by hopping aboard one of our sturdy two-wheelers.`

Latest customer research illustrates that overall satisfaction for casual users is now at 85%, with "last trip" satisfaction for members up to its highest score of 80%. In addition, a record 83% of current members said they would recommend the scheme to their friends and family.  

TfL is now discussing the specific locations for the eight proposed docking stations within the park and around Hackney Wick with the relevant land owners. Subject to planning permission, work to build the sites will begin next year. The initial scheme would be funded through the Mayor's £913m Cycling Vision budget but TfL and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will look to use elements of Section 106 funding raised from future developments to help fund the capital cost of these sites and any potential further expansion throughout the area.  

David Goldstone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: `It's great news that the Cycle Hire scheme is coming to the Park. What better way to explore all 560 acres of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than on two wheels? Londoners and visitors are flocking to the area and this will be another new way to explore the Park. We welcome cyclists of all ages and abilities to come and enjoy the beautiful parklands.`  

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "Since the Cycle Hire scheme was introduced in London in July 2010, we have seen the number of people cycling across the capital grow significantly. We regularly get calls from users to expand the scheme to new places, and bringing the scheme to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London's newest and hugely popular recreational space, is a natural fit.   `We are now working to find the best places for docking stations within the Park and are excited about becoming part of a lasting Games legacy.`

The creation of an easy-to-use cycle hire scheme was a key pledge of the Mayor's manifesto. Barclays Cycle Hire has transformed the way that people make short trips around central London.  

The scheme costs just £2 for daily access and is free for the first 30 minutes. Customers wishing to speak to a Barclays Cycle Hire advisor or become a member can now use a new local rate 0343 222 6666 number.  

The second largest cycle hire scheme in Europe, it boasts more than 10,000 bikes at over 700 docking stations, making popular London destinations like Battersea Park, Fulham, Hammersmith and Portobello Market accessible by hire bike.   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 Putney are now all within a short walk of a docking station, enabling more people to make cycling part of their daily commute.   In March 2013, the Mayor of London published his Cycling Vision for London, which aims to ensure two wheels are at the heart of our transport network.

This vision included plans for intensifying the number of docking points within the current zone through identification of new sites and expansion of popular docking stations.   In spring 2014, Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest boroughs were selected for full mini-Holland status, each receiving up to £30m for changes. Proposals include redesigns of key town centres, new suburban Cycle Superhighways, new cycle routes, Dutch-style roundabouts and rail superhubs -  

TfL publishes many statistics, including Serco's performance against KPI targets, on a quarterly basis at this link:   The latest customer research reports on Barclays Cycle Hire can be found here: