Transport for London (TfL's) flagship cycle hire scheme is continuing to go from strength for strength with its highest September hires in its 11 year history, as increasing numbers of Londoners returned to the office.  

There were 1,219,804 hires during the month, an average of 40,660 daily hires - well above the 37,917 average daily hires in September last year and the 32,323 average daily hires in the three Septembers prior to the pandemic.  

Office workers returning after the summer holidays helped contribute to the record September. Last month, TfL saw the highest volume of Santander Cycles commuter hires since March 2020, with an average 7,573 daily hires made between 0700 and 1000 on weekdays. There has been a noticeable increase in people using the Waterloo and King's Cross hubs, and docking stations located near National Rail stations. There were also 29,046 hires by members of the scheme on 22 September, the highest number of membership hires in the scheme's history.  Hires between 23 and 30 of September were 28 per cent higher than the same week last year and 54 per cent higher than the same seven days in 2019. 

Santander Cycles can be hired from as little as £2 a day for an unlimited number of 30-minute journeys. The scheme recently reached its latest milestone of 10 million hires via the Santander Cycles app. The free app is available on Apple and Android App Stores, by searching for Santander Cycles. Using the app lets customers skip past the terminal and get release codes sent directly to their phone, so they can hire their cycle more quickly and easily.   
To build on this success, the new 'London Riders' scheme was recently launched on the Santander Cycles app, which includes a new weekly prize draw. Each week, one lucky rider will win free annual membership and five free drinks at Caffè Nero**. The London Riders scheme is available on both the iOS and Android apps.  

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: "Santander Cycles were a lockdown lifeline for many Londoners, so I'm delighted that the scheme is now playing a key part in London's recovery from the pandemic. Our record September hires echoes the wider trend of more Londoners choosing to cycle. We are determined to do all we can to build on this further - including by introducing electric Santander Cycles to the network and expanding the scheme to new areas - to ensure a green and sustainable recovery for our city."  

David Eddington, TfL's Head of Cycle Hire, said: "We're pleased to see Santander Cycles play a vital role in enabling people to return to work and it's fantastic to reach yet another big milestone with 10 million hires made through the app. The cycle hire scheme continues to help millions of Londoners commute to work, explore the capital and exercise. We hope that our London Riders weekly prize draw will encourage more people to cycle and we're looking forward to expanding our iconic cycle hire scheme with more app improvements and the introduction of electric bikes." 

Dan Sherwood, Director of Marketing at Santander UK, said: "Bringing innovation to the cycle hire scheme has been a key focus during our partnership with TfL so it's fantastic that we've reached such a great milestone in the number of hires made through the app since its creation together. As we continue to enhance it further and as the cycle scheme continues to grow, we hope even more people will choose Santander Cycles as an alternative and sustainable way to get around the city." 

Earlier this year it was announced that Santander will continue to sponsor London's flagship cycle hire scheme until May 2025. This will support TfL as it moves forward with planned investment in cycle hire, ensuring the scheme continues to grow and encourage more Londoners to get cycling. TfL and Santander are committed to expanding the cycle hire scheme to new areas of London and are working closely with Southwark Council to add eight new docking stations across the borough next year.  

TfL and Santander are also working to introduce around 500 electric bikes into the scheme from next summer, helping to break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age and journey length.    

A thriving cycle hire scheme is essential to the Mayor's plans to make walking and cycling easier. TfL continues to work closely with local boroughs to create space for cycling across the city. This includes building a strategic network for cycling in London, transforming town centres and reducing traffic on residential streets.  

Since May 2020, more than 100km of new or upgraded cycle lanes have been built or are under construction, along with tens of thousands of square metres of extra pavement space reallocated for people walking. The measures mean people are increasingly using bikes to get around their local area and for exercise, with TfL data showing cycling during the pandemic increased by 22 per cent in outer London compared to spring 2019, with a seven per cent rise in inner London.  

Notes to editors

*Aug and Sept 2021 weekday hires averaged 37,762, weekend hires averaged 37,719  

**The new London Riders weekly prize draw via the Santander Cycles app:  

  • Customers who opt into the London Riders programme and hire a bike via the Santander Cycles app or membership key are entered into a prize draw each time they hire    
  • One lucky winner each week will be crowned 'Rider of the Week'
  • Customers who opt into the London Riders programme and hire a bike via the Santander Cycles app or membership key are entered into a prize draw each time they hire    
  • One lucky winner each week will be crowned 'Rider of the Week'
  • The winner receives annual membership and five free drinks at Caffè Nero
  • Winners are encouraged to share their win via social media
  • Riders can also gain extra entries into Rider of the Week by completing additional challenges
  • T&Cs apply

About Santander Cycles  

More information about Santander Cycles, including maps of docking stations and how to hire them, is available online at