Saturday, 21 January 2012

Liberal Democrats: Boris bikes are failing Londoners

Caroline Pidgeon AM, writing for the Liberal Democrats in London, has highlighted a number of the unsatisfactory elements of the scheme, particularly problems with redistribution. There is certainly no 'coalition' on the London Assembly and Caroline has criticised the mayor several times over cycling, notably TfL's refusal to compromise on cycle safety for the new layout on Blackfriars Bridge.

I think her criticisms are largely fair with reference to bike redistribution and especially the tortuous process of casual use. Personally I think improvements to the system since the survey she cites was carried out have greatly improved the reliability of the bike keys. The most obviously missing criticism is to do with dock location - they are often built where boroughs allow them to be situated rather than where users actually want them.

A lot more could be said about this - but hats off to Westminster (for once!) who rejected recommendations and have given the go-ahead for a dock on Abingdon Street, close to the Houses of Parliament, contrary to my expectations.

There's a lot more Boris bike news at the moment, I assume because of the imminence of the Eastern Extension (to be switched on as a whole probably in March I am led to believe from a conversation with some TfL press people). Highlights include: calls for Boris bikes in Highgate and Hampstead; might a new docking station in Camden be unsafe; has the novelty of Boris bikes worn off.

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