Cyclists in Hackney and Tower Hamlets will benefit from the introduction of new generation Santander Cycles, which are being given a facelift by the upmarket cycling firm Pashley, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced yesterday (October 4).
While not widespread south of the river, Santander Cycles can be accessed from different locations in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, such as Canary Wharf, Shadwell or Shoreditch.
The plan is a result of a deal between Transport for London and Serco, which will continue to distribute and maintain London Cycles for the next five years.
The new bikes will be produced by the well-known company Pashley Cycles, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, who have been making bicycles since 1926.
The upgraded bike will feature a lowered frame, a more comfortable saddle and smaller wheels, making them two kilograms lighter than the ones being currently used.
The new bicycles will be available 2018, when 500 of them will appear on London’s streets, gradually replacing the old fleet.
Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce the next generation of bikes for our popular cycle hire scheme. It is already known across the world as a convenient way to get around our city, so it is great news that these lighter British-made bikes will make it even easier for everyone.”
The Mayor of London said he hoped that the upcoming change would encourage more people to take up cycling,eventually improve air quality within the city,and positively influence Londoners’ health.
Steven Bell, Pashley Cycles General Manager said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious and important scheme. We were approached by Serco in early 2015 and became their official bike partner. We have been helping them develop a new product for London since then.”
Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “Since the scheme started in 2010, Serco has worked hard with TfL to improve and grow the service.
“We aim to build on the past six successful years and deliver an even better service for TfL and everyone in London.”
Currently there are 11,500 public bikes in operation and more than a half of them have been used since 2010, when Boris Johnson introduced the scheme.
The public bike rental system is a popular project amongst Londoners and tourists as TfL registers 35,000 rides a day.