Cycle hires hit a record monthly high

Santander bike Chris Warham shutterstock_307029647-2

Photo: Chris Warham | Shutterstock

July 2016 was the most successful month for Santander Cycle hire since the bike-sharing scheme was first introduced in 2010.

A record 1.18 million bikes were hired across London last month, an average of 38,000 hires a for each day of the month.  The data from Transport for London shows that on three days, 19th, 30th and 31st of July there were more than 46,000 hires. The average hire time was 23 minutes.

The monthly total beats the previous record for July 2014 by 5,200.  Summer months always prove the most popular times and monthly hires were also over one million in May and just under in June.  The number of hires in January and February this year was around half the July total.

The city bike scheme was introduced on 30th July 2010. In the first two days 12,000 bikes were hired and in the first month 340,000 as the scheme was rolled out across the boroughs and the docking stations became a familiar sight on the streets.

The data shows that the most popular day in the scheme’s six-year existence was 9th July last year when 73,000 bikes were hired.  On the 6th August that year the second highest total was recorded of 64,000.

Mainline stations are the popular hire points, as previously reported by Urbs, as commuters arriving from outside London and make their way to work in the morning and afternoon rush hours.

But the hire data at major landmarks and parks also suggests that tourists may be the biggest users of the bikes, with routes across Hyde Park among the most popular. The data shows that weekends see the largest usage and the most popular weekday for hire is a Thursday.

The bike sharing scheme was introduced by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor and the bicycles  became known as Boris bikes despite a sponsorship deal with Barclays.  Santander took over sponsorship of the scheme last year, but the bikes have not gone on to be re-named Sadiq cycles.

Source data

See also

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

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Do fewer offences mean better bike behaviour or laxer policing?

Brompton bikeThe number of recorded traffic offences by cyclists on London’s roads fell last year, and on current data looks like it will be down further in 2015.

Cycling has grown dramatically in central London in recent years, by 173% according to the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, and TfL estimates that 570,000 journeys are taken each day by bike.

Data released by the Metropolitan Police for offences from 2007 to May this year under a Freedom of Information request showed that traffic violations went up quite sharply as that popularity grew.

The most common offences are cycling on a pavement and going through a red light. Both are subject to a fixed penalty notice fine of £50.

The number of fixed penalty notices handed out rose steadily until 2010 and then began to decline. 2013 stands out and the high number may be the result of a massive road safety campaign, Operation Safeway, at the end of that year. Designed with cycle safety it mind it ended up giving out more than 4,000 notices to cyclists in around 8 weeks.

cycle offences

In 2014 Fixed Penalty Notices went back to 2012 levels, and up unitl May 18th this year just 1,300 have been given out, 370 for cycling on the pavement and 946 for going through a red light.

The data also reveals that cycling while drunk or under the influence of drugs remains a rare charge. Riding a bike while drunk is an offence under the Road Traffic Act, but the more commonly used law is the 1872 Drunk in Charge of a Carriage. For legal purposes a bicycle qualifies as a carriage.

cycle drunk

Prosecutions peaked in 2010 with 22 but fell back to 8 last year. Up to May 18th this year 7 people had been charged

The number of offences is driven by two things, levels of police enforcement and how well cyclists are observing the law. This data doesn’t tell us which of these or what combination is affecting the numbers.

Source data

See also

42 pedestrians and cyclists injured each week by hit and run drivers

Staying healthy and getting there easily prompts Londoners to go on foot

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes