Friday, July 23, 2010

Barclays Cycle Hire - the Latest

In my last post on this subject, I was whingeing about the lack of information on TfL's website.
Well, you can indeed register for the scheme today, although I've not yet tried.
There's also a map of docking stations. However, there aren't any docking stations on it! Which rather indicates a lack of testing and a hasty roll-out. I know they exist because I've seen one on the corner of Whitehall Place and Northumberland Avenue, and another on the corner of The Strand and Craven Street.

There's also whingeing in the Standard about the cost: "£6 for two hours", it shrills, "the most expensive in Europe".(Maybe that's why it's sponsored by Barclays?) As I've pointed out before, this is rather missing the point. The first half-hour is free. You can ride from one side of the hire zone to the other in 30 minutes, and even if you can't, when you're near the time-limit you just dock your bike at the nearest docking station and take another one - the time-limit resets (apparently).
I went for a walk up the Strand, to Covent Garden, to Shaftsbury Avenue, then Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. All the kinds of places people visit, places I'd expect to see docking stations, but  I didn't see any. So I'm a little concerned that you could be riding around for a while racking up charges if you don't know London's streets or don't know where the docking stations are.

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