London’s cycle hire scheme will not be ready for casual use until the end of the year, according to the Mayor’s staff.
Computer software problems and concerns that tens of thousands of extra cyclists a day could cause the system to collapse have forced transport chiefs to kick the roll out into late November-December.
Boris Johnson’s transport adviser Kulveer Ranger said:
“We want to make sure the service continues to improve and be as good as it has been for 99 per cent of those who have used it.
We know there have been teething problems. It’s like a child going through a huge growth spurt. We are not going to put casual use out there till we have ironed out the creases and wrinkles.”
The news comes on the eve of the Mayor’s SkyRide event this weekend and is the second time casual use by tourists has been posponed. It is a big blow to the £140m project that has seen 300,000 journeys made since last month.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
Cycle hire has been a huge success, with unprecedented demand, and I want to ensure that when we open the scheme up to casual users we do not do it to the detriment of those pioneers who have been with us from the beginning.
‘By waiting until later this year we can learn about how people use the scheme, and it will allow Serco to address any remaining teething problems because I want to ensure that a high quality experience is maintained for every cycle ride”.
“Teething problems” continue to plague the bike scheme, users constantly finding empty or full up ranks. Contractors Serco, who were warned by TfL over delays, is struggling to cope with demand at Waterloo, Paddington and King’s Cross stations.
Only 337 of the promised 400 docking stations are working but new docking stations are finally being added.
Four new cycle hire docking stations will be added every week from early this month, according to Transport for London.