London’s cycle hire scheme hits ‘incredible heights’ in 2021

The Santander cycle hire scheme experienced a ‘historic’ year in 2021, with the number of hires and individual customers reaching record-breaking levels.

Managed by TfL, the scheme saw 10.9 million hires made in 2021, surpassing the previous best target set in 2018 by 371,000 hires.

More than one million individual customers used the cycle hire scheme last year, the first time this milestone has been reached in a calendar year – and 178,000 new members joined the scheme.

TfL says a thriving cycle hire scheme is essential to the mayor of London’s plans to make walking and cycling easier, alongside cycleways and safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sadiq Khan said: “It’s fantastic to see our cycle hire scheme reach such incredible heights, achieving its highest ever hire numbers last year. 

“Not only have we seen a huge rise in cycling since the pandemic, but participation has also broadened, particularly among people from minority ethnic communities.

“In order to keep up this success we need safe roads for cyclists, and we continue to work with boroughs to roll out cycle lanes, extra pavement space and safer junctions. I urge anyone who has been thinking of taking up cycling to give it a go and get riding this year.”

Meanwhile, TfL says the extension of Santander’s sponsorship until May 2025 will support the organisation as it moves forward with planned investment in cycle hire, ensuring the scheme continues to grow.

TfL and Santander say they are committed to expanding the cycle hire scheme to new areas of London and are working closely with Southwark Council to add eight new docking stations across the borough next year.

TfL and Santander are also working to introduce around 500 electric bikes into the scheme from next summer, helping to break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age and journey length.

13 January 2022