Barclays Cycle Hire

Highlight in London

Bicycle Rental

Welcome to London’s newest form of public transport introduced in July 2010 and now a year old.

They are nicknamed Boris Bikes after Mayor Boris Johnson who was largely responsible for making it happen.  A year on and the system is to be expanded to the west side of London and eastwards to Canary Wharf and the edge of the Olympic Park in time for summer 2012.  In May 2011 more tourists have hired bikes than Londoners for the first time, which shows its success.  Over 4 million bike trips have been made in the first 9 months of its operation and over 119,000 people have signed up for membership.

If you want to be a regular user, you should sign up for membership via the TFL website. On receipt of your membership key(s) you must activate it/them first before you can actually hire a bicycle.  Click here for a video of how it works.

Visitors to the city or casual users can pay at the docking station and do not have to register. The on screen instructions are clear and easy to follow and you will be given a 5 digit release code to unlock the bike.

The system is very straightforward; you can simply take a bike from any docking station and then replace it at another one anywhere in the city. It really is as simple as that.

Although the bikes are regularly maintained, we would suggest that you check the tyres, saddle etc before taking a bike from the docking point. Check that the docking point has no lights illuminated and insert your key into the docking key slot. The amber light will illuminate while your account is verified. As soon as the light turns green, unlock your bike by placing one hand on each of the handle bars and firmly pulling it out of the docking point.

When returning a bike, make sure you push the front wheels firmly in to the docking point and wait for the green light to come on to tell you the bike is secure and therefore returned so you are not charged more than you should be!

If you find the docking station is full when you reach your destination you can use the terminal to find out the status of the nearest one and given an additional 15 minutes free travel so you are not charged extra.

The website gives a list and map of all the docking stations around London, but they are pretty much everywhere and look like the photograph above.

The first 30 minutes of every journey you take is free, after that the costs are £1 for up to an hour; £4 for 1 hour, 30 minutes; £6 for up to 2 hours; £10 for up to 2 hours, 30 minutes; £15 for up to 3 hours; £35 for up to 6 hours and £50 for 24 hours (the maximum usage fee).

London’s parks, canals and waterways have a number of safe routes called “Greenways” which are ideal for the leisure cyclist.

Reviewer's Rating
Type Culture / Sightseeing, Outdoor / Adventure
Suitable for Families with children, Travelling solo

Last updated on 19-07-2012

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