Tuesday, July 20, 2010

London Cycle Hire Scheme delays

The London Cycle Hire scheme has been delayed (again).

The original start-date was delayed by about 2 months (see my previous post on this topic).

According to The Independent and other sources, bikes "will be available only to pre-registered members when the scheme is launched a week on Friday [i.e. July 30th]". In other words, casual users won't be able to use the scheme on its launch date.
I like to do a bit more in-depth research than the mainstream media, so I thought I might register. However, a quick visit to TfL's website reveals no way to register. If registration requires them to post you a key-card, and the web channel isn't up and running yet, they've left it a bit late, haven't they? You would expect the registration channels to be available by now if significant numbers of people are actually going to be in possesion of a key card on the launch date.
Which rather begs the question: will they launch a cycle hire scheme where no-one can actually hire a cycle on day one?
[UPDATE] The BBC say you can register from Friday 23rd July, although there's nothing on TfL's website that I could see. You might think they'd be keen to make the most of the launch, in which case all the channels would be in place and there's be advance publicity on their website. There's not even a map of the docking stations there - the map of the cycle hire area looks like it's been lifted unmodified from a tourist brochure.
This all has the sniff of lack of planning and coordination - rather typical of the Boris Johnson administration.

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