The importance and success of cycle hire schemes has been highlighted by Transport for London (TfL) figures which reveal a record-breaking 2018 for its Santander Cycles.
In 2018, TfL say its cycle hire scheme achieved three records: highest ever usage of Santander Cycles in 2018, the highest average use per day, and highest number of hires on Christmas Day.
For the whole year, more than 10.5 million journeys were made on the cycle hire scheme in the capital; on Christmas Day, in excess of 35,000 hires were logged and, on average, there were 29,500 hires each day. This is the most successful number recorded since the scheme started back in 2010.
In the eight full years since the scheme was launched, there have been more than 77 million journeys, and 2018 has been the best year yet with five straight months in which more than one million hires were achieved.
David Eddington, Head of Cycle Hire at TfL, said: “Despite the Beast from the East, Londoners and visitors continued pedalling to help us reach our best year ever.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people choosing to cycle in London, with a 35% increase since our cycle hire scheme was introduced, and hope that number will continue to rise.
“The Santander Cycles app grew in popularity in 2018, with a 26% increase in hires made through the app compared to 2017. It is expected the 1.4 million hires made through the app in 2018 will continue to grow, with further app improvements expected.”
The popularity of cycling in 2018 is highlighted by the quirky fact that Londoners cycled the equivalent of 65 return trips to the moon during the year.
The encouragement to this form of transport is important for a number of reasons: not only does it show just how crucial cycle hire schemes are throughout the country, but they are also vital for improving overall air quality, and fit neatly into the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy, which has invested heavily in cycling, as part of the drive to make Londoners healthier, and reduce the toxic air.