Record-breaking Santander Cycles scheme expands in Southwark
- Expansion follows recent introduction of e-bikes to London's record-breaking cycle hire scheme
Transport for London (TfL) and Southwark Council have expanded the capital's record-breaking Santander Cycles scheme in the borough, with seven new docking stations now open for local residents and visitors. The expansion of the scheme will allow more people in Southwark to explore the capital in an affordable way that supports their physical and mental wellbeing, while helping to cut air pollution and protecting the local environment. The new stations also enabling people from across London to now end their journeys in Bermondsey and Walworth. Increasing the number of journeys made by walking, cycling and public transport in the capital is vital to ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future for everyone in the capital.
The seven new docking stations have been installed at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Brandon Street, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will provide flexible, value-for-money access to bikes across Southwark and will help to introduce more people to the benefits of cycling. The new docking stations build on other recent expansions of the scheme in the borough, including the five new docking stations added in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019.
TfL data shows that the Santander Cycles scheme has gone from strength to strength in recent years and continues to see record hire numbers, with 2022 looking set to be a record year for the scheme. 11 million hires have been made across the year so far, with hires at 11 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic level as of late September 2022. Every month from August 2021 to August 2022 has also recorded the highest number of hires for the corresponding month in previous years.
In October, Santander and TfL launched the scheme's first e-bikes, which are now available to hire as part of an expansion of the scheme's offering to its customers. The e-bikes have supported the scheme's continued success and have helped break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age and journey length. The introduction of e-bikes has added to the scheme's popularity, with more than 100,000 hires now made.
London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said:
'It's great that the boom in walking and cycling we saw during the pandemic is here to stay as more Londoners enjoy using sustainable ways to get around the capital.
'We are continuing to make active travel around the city as accessible and safe as possible so I'm delighted to see these new docking stations in Southwark now open for local residents and visitors to enjoy. This comes hot on the heels of another great year for the scheme, which has also seen the introduction of fantastic new e-bikes. The Mayor and I are determined to continue building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London for everyone - we are always looking to work with great boroughs like Southwark to explore how we can expand sustainable transport options for their communities.'
David Eddington, TfL's Head of Cycle Hire, said:
'Santander Cycles plays a vital role in connecting communities across London and we're always looking at how we can expand and improve it to ensure we're helping as many communities as we can. The docking stations will make it easier for people to cycle as part of their everyday routine, whether it's commuters heading to and from the office, or visitors travelling around our city. Through the expansion of the scheme, we hope to encourage even more Londoners to take up cycling, improving their wellbeing and London's air quality and tackle congestion. I'd like thank Southwark Council for their support with the expansion and we'll continue to work with the borough to improve access to cycling.'
Dan Sherwood, Marketing Director, Santander UK said:
'2022 has been a brilliant year for the Santander Cycles scheme, with 11 million hires made already. People in London are benefitting more than ever from the freedom, convenience and wellbeing benefits that cycling brings about.'
Cllr Catherine Rose, Southwark Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets & Clean Air, said:
'We are happy to see that our campaigning and collaboration with TfL has brought seven new Santander Cycles docking stations to Southwark. They are already well used and are helping people to travel both locally and across town, in a way that improves their physical and mental health. The bikes also provide low cost travel and support improved air quality, here in Southwark.'
The scheme experienced a historic year in 2021 with a record-breaking number of hires across the year as well as during several different months. More than one million individual customers used the cycle hire scheme last year, the first time this milestone has been reached in a calendar year. 178,000 new members joined the scheme in 2021, a seven per cent increase on 2020 and more than double that of any year prior to 2020.
Cycling is not the only way to get from A to B whilst keeping fit - and TfL is encouraging Londoners to get around on foot, whether it is walking further for leisure or swapping driving for walking for shorter trips. This November, TfL published a new Leisure Walking Plan to boost levels of walking in the capital. The new action plan will enhance and expand leisure walking routes and better connect London's communities with green spaces. As part of the plan, TfL has partnered with Go Jauntly to digitise the Walk London network and it is now available through the Go Jauntly app.