The Standard is running a quite silly article today.
The impression seems to be that hires are in decline, but if we look towards the end of the article, we notice that hires in the first two months of the year are up. And do you remember last March? It was the summer we never had, beautiful weather until the skies opened in April and, with a brief Olympic respite, continued all year. The contrast with freezing March 2013 couldn't be greater.
Over in the Times Matthew Parris has apparently complained he can't find anywhere to dock. I haven't read the article (I don't pay for the Times online) but is the fact that there are tidal flows of bikes during the day really big news? Sure we need more docks and better redistribution, but it was ever thus.
Another fun bit of news was that we might get bonuses for returning our bikes to an empty docking station. 'No immediate plans' is perhaps the take-home message of this article.
There is more concrete news though from the boroughs, where the long and largely unseen process of selecting and approving sites for new docking stations is underway for the southwesterly extension.
In Kensington and Chelsea, by my count 29 docking stations have been approved, with only 4 refused. In Wandsworth 57 have been approved, with only a few remaining to be determined, the most controversial being Lavender Gardens, on which my last post commented. Lambeth have approved most of their latest applications, 19 accepted, 1 refused. The loss of the site on Exton Street is regrettable, as the area around Waterloo is desperate for new docks. In Hammersmith and Fulham, 59 sites have approval, 3 were refused, and 27 are still pending.
It is disappointing that whereas the eastern extension also featured 'intensification' in the central area, this does not seem to be a feature this time. There are no new applications for sites in Westminster and the City.
Within a year all these new stations should be up and running. I imagine March 2014 will see quite a bounce back in hires from those the Standard reports today.