The Santander Cycles scheme in London continues to see record ridership numbers with 10.9 million hires from January to September 2022, according to new data from Transport for London’s (TfL) annual ‘Travel in London’ report.
This is 762,500 more hires than at the same point last year, with every month from August 2021 to August 2022 recording the highest number of hires for the corresponding month.
The introduction of e-bikes in October has also added to the scheme’s popularity.
David Eddington, TfL’s Head of Cycle Hire, told Zag Daily: “We know that huge numbers of people have taken up cycling since the pandemic and it is fantastic too that people are also taking to the newly introduced Santander Cycles e-bikes. The new e-bikes will help to break down some of the barriers to cycling and make it even easier to travel sustainably, and we have seen the e-bikes used over 86,000 times since their launch. Santander Cycles is playing an important role in encouraging more people to cycle and we’ll continue to monitor how the new bikes are being used before making a decision about adding further bikes to our fleet.”
Santander’s fleet now consists of more than 12,000 bikes.
Outside of the Santander scheme, the report also shows a continued boom in cycling with levels remaining at 40% higher than before the pandemic.
This growth has been supported by an increased investment in high-quality infrastructure that has allowed more people to live near a cycle route.
According to TfL, 22% of Londoners now live within 400 metres of a cycle route, almost double the proportion in 2019 (12%).
A funding agreement with the Government has secured £80m per year to be invested in walking and cycling schemes, with a further £69m per year allocated to boroughs.
Since April, TfL and the boroughs have delivered 10.6km of new or upgraded cycle routes and there are 16.4km in construction. In total, TfL aims to deliver at least 39km of new or upgraded cycle routes over the next 18 months.
London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, said: “We must continue to make active travel around the city as accessible and safe as possible. That’s why I’m delighted that this year we’ve seen the introduction of e-bikes to the Santander Cycles scheme, we’ve built hundreds of kilometres of new or upgraded cycle routes since the pandemic and completed work to make some of the capital’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions safer.”