It's nearly upon us - the era when thousands of vandalised bikes will be littered, like so many decrepit tramps, across our London streets. The era when I hope to the great Spaghetti monster that the inexperienced cyclists and more to the point, piss heads who on the spur of the moment decide to hire one to wobble along the streets are not mown down by HGV's and double decker buses or even the last remaining bendy ones.
Boris's Bike Hire scheme is going live shortly. Here's a map of hire locations with an app to appear shortly for iphones. I would argue strongly that they've got their market wrong: People with iphones if they wish to cycle I would imagine already have bikes. However, that's an aside really. The point, as Mr Murray would say, is this. Here's a spreadsheet for the locations where planning permission has been sought and granted. I'm not bothered about the locations, but I'm a bit pissed off about the numbers. 53, 39, 44 - there are going to be bike stands arriving all over central London for literally hundreds and hundreds of bikes. And existing cyclists will not be able to use a *single stand*. Someone should have thought about how ridiculous that is. What if, across central London, suddenly, the everyday bike stand provision were to grow by this much. That suddenly, next to your local park, or central London square, 50 bike stands appeared out of nowhere. Wouldn't that be bloody marvellous? Wouldn't that make you feel more positive about bringing out your bike and cycling to work?
What they *should* have done with this is at every commercial bike stand, guaranteed ten or fifteen placements for non-commercial bikes to be tied up alongside.
I wonder what % of the profits from this venture are being plowed back in to cycling provisioning across all the London boroughs (not just the ones between Camden and Kennington).