Saturday, 10 March 2012

Boris Bikes go east (and west) and more to come

Since my last post the new eastern zone has gone live, adding just over 100 docking stations to the total (548 stations are live tonight). Nine of these were in the west, and a handful of central docks went live, so that means that just under 90 docks are so far available in Tower Hamlets.

No big meltdown happened, partly because the new docks aren't getting much use yet. It'll be interesting to see what pattern of use develops, but if central London is a good model, bikes should move in and out of the Canary Wharf area according to the rush hours.

I also understand the saddles of the new bikes have been redesigned so you don't slide forward quite so much. I was on one today, it takes a bit of faith to believe it, but quite possibly. I won't be drawn on bells :)

Of course, the extension / intensification is not complete. The dock at Mudchute is yet to go live. A large dock west of Stepney Green on CS2 is complete but not live. The expansion of Queen Street is not complete. The long-awaited dock at Parliament (at the west edge of College Green) is under construction, and looks to have 20 docking points.

 If anyone was given a map of the docking points, it is unfortunately not to be trusted! A number of docks are wrongly sited (e.g. Cheapside), some which do exist are not shown (both stations on Bishop's Bridge Road), and some which do not exist are marked (anyone seen docks on Houndsditch or Holland Villas Road?). Nil points to TfL for this particular product, and I think it shows that, apart from internet-based resources, it's difficult to get accurate information about dock locations. Even the maps on the terminals are not always accurate.


  1. Do you happen to know what the final total of docking stations will be in the eastern zone? You say 100 have been added, but when I look on the TFL map, coverage looks a bit sparse!

    I remember from phase one that they added new stations in the months following launch, hence the high density there now is in the original zone. Will they be doing that now? How will things look when it's all finished?


  2. TfL originally said that there would be 2700 docking points in the Eastern Extension. A calculation on the Boris Bikes forum, taking into account the average number of docks per station, worked out that there would be about 105 docking stations. In a recent promotional video, I have seen Boris himself say they are adding 151 docking stations, but he may be including the Westfield extension and intensification of the central zone. So considering this, and the obvious gaps where there are few or no stations, I'd say we should expect a few more, maybe 10-15. All this speculation would be unnecessary if TfL actually published useful information about their plans, but they work very secretly I'm afraid. One thing you could do is check back through Tower Hamlets planning applications to see if any were approved recently which are not yet built.