"Boris Bikes", the Mayor of London's hugely popular cycle hire scheme, is coming to Hammersmith and Fulham.
Mayor Boris Johnson has chosen July 28, the first anniversary of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, to announce that the bikes are heading west, with Westfield shopping centre first on the target list.
The Mayor has confirmed that Barclays have agreed to provide another £25 million of sponsorship, and this extra funding will help the scheme to expand throughout west and southwest London by the summer of 2013.
Transport for London (TfL) is now preparing plans for a westward expansion of the scheme throughout Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Wandsworth and also Lambeth.
Westfield Shopping Centre is to provide funding that will allow an early taster of the western expansion by extending the cycle hire to the mega-mall by next spring.
Around 12 new docking stations will connect the existing cycle hire zone to Westfield White City and six docking stations will potentially be on the grounds of Westfield London itself.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: " Today it is testament to the huge impact of Barclays Cycle Hire and to the rapidly increasing popularity of pedal power in London that I can announce we are now planning to swathe a huge chunk of the west of our city with our beautiful blue bikes.
"My thanks also go to Westfield London for providing an investment that from next year will enable hordes of shoppers to make the journey to their glittering halls by the cleanest, greenest and most enjoyable form of transport available."
The news is a major boost for Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s Get Moving campaign which aims to improve the local transport network and make it easier for people to get around.
Cycling projects have been shown to give a return of £3 for every £1 spent – with much of this coming in crucial health benefits, according to the London Cycling Campaign.
John Griffiths, Chairman of H&F cyclists, says: "Cycling allows you to travel much more quickly through congested roads. It is cheaper than running a car and it creates a wonderful feeling of freedom that you don’t always get on foot."
Earlier this week it emerged that H&F was the most improved across London for cutting journey times between 10am and 4pm – with them being slashed by almost 18%. The borough was also the best inner London borough during the evening rush hour – with a reduction of almost 9%, according to the research from 2009-2010. Morning rush hour times have been slashed by 13.4%, with the average delay over half a mile having been reduced to 50 seconds.
A membership key for the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of every journey is free.
For more information visit Barclays Cycle Hire .