Talk:Santander Cycles

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General Update[edit]

This article needs a general update to take account of the Phase 3 expansion (2013-14) which is currently underway and the proposed improvements to the scheme laid out in the Mayor's Vision for Cycling in London. MarkFSmith (talk) 19:57, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Bike reg numbers[edit]

anyone know anythig about this? e.g. could an errant cyclist be traced like a car driver by reporting this number to the police if required. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

In theory yes. As TfL would have the data on who was using the bike at the time (or at least who's account had undocked it). But Carlton Reid did a freedom of information request and found no numbers had been used to report users. See (talk) 10:09, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Glorification of sponsor[edit]

Wikipedia is supposed to be non-profit so why is it promoting sponsors? This article should just be called "London Bike Scheme" or "Boris Bikes" or whatever other common term is frequently used (it certainly isn't "Barclay Merchant Banker Cycle Hire". You wouldn't see the BBC (another non-profit company) lead a news story with the headline using the sponsor name. I know that Wikipedia is American but it can still have standards and that should include ridding itself of unnecessary mentions of the names of sponsors. Let the corporate world fuck off elsewhere.-- (talk) 23:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I disagree that it is either glorifying or promoting Barclays. It is merely reporting what TfL call it, because that's its name. The BBC doesn't entirely avoid the term, in fact, and the Guardian, who we might expect to be reasonably allergic, use it quite a lot. They do both have the problem that it's its name and there's only so many feeble alternatives they can slot in - The Mayor's Cycle Scheme or whatever - these all suffer from the same problem, that they are not its name. So I don't think you've got a point, really, and I don't agree that it needs renaming. Finally, I think it's pretty sad that you couldn't make this point without the obligatory pathetic anti-American dig. It lowers the tone and devalues your comments. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 23:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

The BBC actually only ever uses the term 'Boris Bike' now, occasionally 'London Cycle Hire'. MarkFSmith (talk) 19:55, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Damage/Vandalism to London Bikes...[edit]

It would be interesting to know if the London Bikes are suffering from the same amount of vandalism/theft that the Velib and Bixi systems have encountered? Desq (talk) 10:28, 22 December 2010 (UTC) desq 22/12/10

No, actually much much less! Virtually nothing. Apart from a few pigeons shitting on them... — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkFSmith (talkcontribs) 19:54, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

criticism - NPOV[edit]

it looks like most of the criticism section is taken from a single Telegraph article, and there is very little on the praise the scheme has received, for example: (talk) 18:54, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

  • I see these criticisms you have generally referred to are in fact documented and referenced, with multiple sources and statistics straight out of TfL surveys and press releases. What's more, many of these criticisms have recently been acknowledged by both TfL and the BCH contractor, Serco. I don't see that you have any grounds in assigning an disputed neutrality tag merely on the basis that you could not find countervailing newsworthy reports and statistics that you feel support the BCH scheme. The purpose of wikipedia is to provide factual information on a concept, thing, or person - whether subjectively 'praiseworthy' or not. Sanitizing an article concerning a public bike hire scheme you have judged to be a noble cause by removing all documented criticisms will not further its chances of success; indeed, by ignoring real issues that must be solved, it may have just the opposite effect.Dellant (talk) 20:14, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I agree, and feel the PoV tag is outdated and should now be removed. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 21:29, 17 July 2011 (UTC)


The article was renamed London Cycle Hire. This name seems unfamiliar and so, per WP:COMMONNAME, I have reverted. The best alternative to Barclays Cycle Hire is Boris bike and I favour the latter as the article's title. For example, see this recent item in The Independent about the Arnold Schwarzenegger visit in which the name "Boris bike" is given prominence while the competition is nowhere. Colonel Warden (talk) 05:57, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

Taken from 'Reception and Criticisms' section: The system also does not enable transport to the suburbs, and TfL has admitted that the BCH scheme is "best for short journeys".[26] Some users have also found the bikes too heavy and unwieldy, at 23 kilograms (51 lb).[27][28]

I don't think that the word "admit" is appropriate, as it implies that TfL is accepting that it failed - it's a loaded word. The source (a TfL document) doesn't accept fault, it just points out a fact. "Acknowledge" would be a fairer word. Will change unless there are any disagreements? Cheers, Luke Luke.omahony87 (talk) 12:47, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Very fair point. Sounds like a good change to me. Thank you for checking. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 13:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
About as weasily as "introduced" in the opening paragraph of the lead. Mighty Antar (talk) 14:17, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a proposed solution to the problem you perceive? Best wishes DBaK (talk) 16:58, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Amend the end of that sentence to something like "after Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time of the official launch.". The only thing Boris introduced was a handy alliteration and (I believe) the Barclays sponsorship. Mighty Antar (talk) 18:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Oops you never got a reply, sorry. I think you are broadly right but I'd love to know a little more about the history to get it right - in other words to give Boris neither too much nor too little credit. For example I don't think he introduced the alliteration, and if he did bring in Barclays' filthy lucre then, much though it galls me to admit it, he may have helped get it launched. We could really do with something on the history to put all this in context and give credit where due, including to the previous administration if that's the case. cheers DBaK (talk) 11:34, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
PS I've had a little go but it needs more work. DBaK (talk) 11:42, 19 August 2012 (UTC)


Under Cycles we say "Each cycle is fitted with features designed to provide comfort and safety for the user, including:" and then go on to list that the bikes have such amazing features as two brakes, and adjustable saddles. I can see that some of the features listed are relevant but shouldn't we take a pair of scissors to this a bit? At the moment it reads almost like a joke Wikipedia article there ... but what do you think? DBaK (talk) 11:31, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Safety claim[edit]

I would like to challenge the safety claim (using the wording: "A study showed cyclists using the scheme are three times less likely to be injured per trip than cyclists in London as a whole, possibly due to motorists giving cycle hire users more road space than they do other cyclists."). Apart from the claim being based solely on a data interpretation made by the people who run the scheme, it also fails to take into account some very obvious factors to why collisions with London Bikes (I also agree Wikipedia article should not use the sponsored name) might be lower than "normal bikes":

  1. The biles are very heavy and have few gears, making it hard (or impossible) to cycle particularly fast.
  2. Most journeys on London Bikes are much shorter than they might be with "normal bikes", because:
    1. They only exist in central London
    2. People wouldn't (can't) go far on them due to previous point.
    3. Journeys are only free up to 30 minutes at a time.
    4. They have to be picked up and returned within the boundary of the scheme.

At the same time, I think it _is_ a problem (as Wiggins mentions in the interview that the article linked to mentions) that Boris bike cyclists don't (in almost all cases) wear helmets. I'm a London cyclist myself, and I never cycle without my helmet, but I store it with my bike. If I had to use the London Bikes, I would probably not have my helmet with me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Svend (talkcontribs) 16:02, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Furthermore, I read somewhere that only 5% of trips by London Hire Bikes are longer than 30 minutes. I will try to track down the source of this figure. Even where commuting etc times are longer than 30mins, where a rider returns a bike to dock before 30mins is up in order to save the fee, and takes another bike shortly after to continue his/her journey, then this would count as two journeys according to the safety claim data. In fact, many Bike Hire journeys might be as short as say, 1km (or even less), as the riders only have to locate a dock to collect a bike and later leave their bike. A commuter on his/her own bike will usually ride their bike from end-to-end of their commuting journey, for several reasons:
  • Most modes of public transport in London do not allow bicycles during the normal morning and evening peak commuter hours.
  • Many commuters wish to store their bicycles in a secure location, due to the high rate of bicycle theft in London; therefore they tend to start their journey at home, and end it at their final destination, rather than at an intermediate point.
  • Bicycles bought for road use by commuters will almost certainly be lighter and more optimised for longer journeys than London's Devinci bikes (another name term), this probably encourages riders to make longer trips, more regularly.
It is clear that commuters who use their own bikes have no reason to split their journey, and there is no artificial inducement for them to limit their bicycle commute to 30mins. With the size of London, commutes longer than 30 mins by regular bike commuters on their own machines are quite within the normal range, and possibly very common. Without further data, it is not at all conclusive whether London Hire Bikes are really safer per trip or not. Perhaps this claim should be removed. Nor is it clear whether like is being compared with like. Commuters using their own bicycles are not a comparable set with London Hire Bike users in general; Hire Bike users are much more spread across the day (and evening), and while some are commuters, many are casual users and others are tourists. An additional possible factor is that motor vehicle drivers (who would be mostly professional drivers in central London) are aware that users of Bike Hire bicycles are more casual users, and they give them more space and drive more carefully around them for that reason. It has been claimed in other research that drivers behave differently around cyclists according to whether the cyclists are wearing bicycle helmets or not.
A more useful metric would be to compare 'accidents per mile of travel' of commuters riding their own machines, compared with commuters on London Hire Bikes. The accuracy of the data is also an issue. TfL probably have good data on accidents in which Bike Hire cycles are damaged, but I'm not convinced they have accurate data on any other accidents, particularly accidents where cyclists have accidents on their own machines, but authorities do not become involved. Centrepull (talk) 14:03, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

US English?[edit]

I see the article has been written in US english (tires, fenders etc), should it be changed to English? Markb (talk) 07:58, 22 September 2014 (UTC)