City Cycle Hire Schemes

Bike riding is booming in Britain, and we are slowly moving towards a bike sharing culture.

Our city based cycle hire schemes have more than doubled over the last couple of years, and the total number of bikes available is now over 25, 000. 

So what’s the deal and where can you reliably pick up a bike from a city cycle hire scheme?

Docked bikes:

The Santander sponsored Transport for London bike scheme  ‘Santander Cycles’ allows users to hire a bike from as little as £2 a trip. 

The scheme has been in London for some time, and now has stations over most of the city centre. 

There’s no need to book these bikes – hire a bike, ride it where you like, then return it to any docking station.

Dockless bike schemes

Two new cycle hire schemes are on their way: Ofo and Mobike, both courtesy of Chinese companies, which will provide dockless cycle hire.

 Already established in Sheffield, Ofo now has Leeds in its sights, while Mobike is expanding around Manchester. Both companies are providing competition in London, where picking up a bike to get anywhere in the city should prove easy in the days to come. 

How does it all work?

The concept is simple: you need a smartphone and a credit card. Download the app, load your credit card details and then hire a bike for a low fee. You can then locate the bike on a map on your phone. Once at the bike, scan the QR code to unlock it and you’re off. 

When you have reached your final destination you need to find somewhere sensible to leave it, and then lock it.

Is It Effective?

Sadly, there have been high levels of vandalism of the bikes, with many damaged and stolen cycles found in canals, bins and back gardens. Commuters are also angry about pile-ups at stations, and inconsiderate parking. 

The numbers of damaged bikes is gradually falling, and providers remain hopefully they will become an established part of the transport system in the towns and cities of the future. 


Did you know Bikspoke specialist insurance can also cover you for riding cycle hire scheme bikes?

Give us a call on 01606 814477 and our friendly team can set you up with comprehensive cover that works for you!