A pilot bringing dockless bike share to Richmond upon Thames will launch in April 2018.
Advancements in technology mean that bicycle hire schemes no longer require docking stations, as provided with the current Santander London cycle hire scheme, with the technology now built directly into the bikes.
Users of the new system will have to register on an app and use this to locate the closest bike available, to release it using a given code, and to pay for the hire.
The bikes can then be left and re-locked, ending the hire period, anywhere in the area of operation. As a result, cyclists will have greater flexibility in where and when they can travel in London.
Bicycles will be phased in over a number of months, starting with roughly 200 bikes and growing to meet the demand for the service over time.
Service providers will be required to redistribute the bikes as necessary and to manage the bikes in a way that does not create an obstruction to other road users, particularly pedestrians.
“Reaching that goal will not only improve the overall health of people in the borough but will contribute to the Council’s Air Quality Action Plan by reducing the level of travel-related air pollution in this borough,” said Councillor Peter Buckwell, Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene.
“The bike share scheme will help make cycling more accessible and low cost for our residents and road users, which will hopefully increase the number of people who choose cycling as their primary mode of transport.
“Whilst the benefit of this scheme is that the bikes can be parked anywhere we anticipate early trials to focus on the hubs around Richmond and Twickenham Stations which generate the most traffic.
“Further locations will be identified for the deployment and distribution of bikes based on demand.”
Cllr Jean Loveland, Richmond Council’s Cycling Champion said: “Cycling is good for the environment, good for the health of our residents and we want to make it easier for more people to cycle to, from and within our borough.
“This is a great initiative and I hope people take advantage of it.”
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