London Biking Invasion

פורסם: 18 ביולי 2010, 2:30 על ידי: Sustainability Org
Saddle do nicely ... Sun man  Ben with the London hire bikes
Saddle do nicely ... Sun man Ben with the London hire bikes

THE RED double decker bus is instantly recognisable across the world and the black cab is part of our national character.

Now the UK is about to witness the birth of another iconic symbol of its capital - the London BIKE.

With its sturdy frame, three gears and distinctive, robust look, thousands will be for hire for as little as £1 a time across the central areas from the end of this month.

Fan ... Mayor Boris Johnson
Fan ... Mayor Boris Johnson

Paris launched the first big scheme three years ago. They proved hugely popular though thousands were vandalised and stolen.

Now bike sharing is rapidly spreading across the world, from Melbourne to Montreal and even Hangzhou, China. Nearly 6,000 London bikes will be available at 400 computerised racks - called docking stations.

They can be used 24 hours a day and the bikes, designed for short journeys, returned to any rack. Fees will start at £1 with the first half hour free.

Longer journeys are discouraged with a charge of up to £15 for three hours. To help security, customers pay by credit card or register for a £3 key. The bikes have flickering LED lights front and back for night travel.

Cycle-mad Mayor Boris Johnson said: "London will glitter with the lights of shiny hire bikes, zipping around the streets unfettered from timetables, queues and crowds."

The facts

£300 - Penalty charge for not returning bicycle

400 - Number of docking stations across the city

8,000 - Number of bikes stolen in similar Paris scheme

Source: thesun