Barclays Bicycle Redistribution

The request was successful.

Dear Transport for London,

Please can you provide detais of how decisions are made on where bicyle docking stations are placed.

Please also provide information on how decisions are reached on where bicycles should be redistributed to and what quantity and what times.

Finally, please provide an average length of time that each station is either full or empty over the last seven days.

Yours faithfully,

Harry DN

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Harry DN

 

TfL Ref:  FOI-0085-1213

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16
April 2012 asking for information about Barclays Cycle Hire scheme.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. 

 

A response will be provided to you by 15 May 2012.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

2 Attachments

Dear Harry DN

 

TfL Ref:  FOI-0085-1213

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16
April 2012 asking for information about the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme.

 

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm
that TfL does hold the information you require. You asked for:

 

1. Details of how decisions are made on where bicycle docking stations are
placed.

 

TfL works in partnership with the host boroughs (and the Royal Parks, as
applicable) to determine what land is available for the docking stations,
both on and off the carriageway.  Public land such as pavement areas has
been used where appropriate; some of the land has come from existing car
parking spaces.  Many sites have been identified on the carriageway in
previously underutilised areas – for example areas of parking with very
low occupancy, areas of lining where vehicles can not park and in quiet
side streets with low traffic flows.  Other docking stations have been
located on private land, for example at hospitals and colleges, with the
landowner’s support. Docking stations are situated every 300-500 metres to
create a robust network where another station is always nearby.

 

A detailed site search to select appropriate sites for docking stations in
London has been undertaken based on site selection criteria developed in
collaboration with the scheme partners. The criteria take into account
relevant local planning policies, supplementary design guidance, and TfL’s
own standards and design guidance.  The criteria are evolving as more is
learnt about the scheme. The key criteria applied to date include:

 

•      no loss of trees and avoidance of grassed areas;

•      minimal relocation of existing street furniture, including existing
cycle stands;

•      sufficient space to maintain clear pedestrian/vehicular
paths/access;

•      safe and secure areas with good natural surveillance, street
lighting and/or where appropriate, closed circuit television cameras
(CCTV);

•      close proximity to where people live and work, and attractors such
as tourist destinations, and community and leisure facilities;

•      avoidance of areas of high pedestrian congestion and areas known to
be unsuitable for cyclists; and

•      a presumption against sites where the docking station would have a
detrimental impact on sensitive townscapes and/or the setting of heritage
assets.

 

However, it is important to recognise that each site is assessed on its
merits having regard to its location and the surroundings.  Not all of the
above criteria are relevant to every site and in some cases not all
criteria can be achieved – particularly in highly constrained areas – and
they therefore need to be balanced against the benefits of Barclays Cycle
Hire. There are also technical and highway considerations such as site
gradient, foundation depth, the presence of basements/cellars and
utilities, the avoidance of trees and utility access covers. TfL applies
for planning permission for each docking station and this process provides
an independent assessment of whether the sites meet the relevant policies
of the particular borough.

 

Following the successful launch of Barclays Cycle Hire in July 2010, the
Mayor and Transport for London announced plans to expand the scheme
towards the Olympic Park in time for the 2012 Games. This Phase 2 launched
on 8 March 2012.  TfL is also investigating the feasibility of a further
expansion of the scheme to the west and southwest that would take in much
of Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth.  These two boroughs already have a
higher proportion of potentially cyclable trips than either central London
or Greater London, and this extension will balance the Phase 2
eastern/north-eastern expansion so that growth around the Phase 1 zone is
balanced to the west and southwest. 

 

The proposed Phase 3 area will improve transport options in areas with
less public transport accessibility, including the western and
south-eastern perimeter of the Fulham peninsula, and south of the river
where several large swathes of Wandsworth have very poor access to public
transport.

 

2. Please also provide information on how decisions are reached on where
bicycles should be redistributed to and what quantity and what times.

 

We operate a zonal system of redistribution with dedicated vehicles to try
to ensure that levels of bikes and spaces are available. TfL continues to
work with our service provider Serco to find the best methods of
redistribution possible, to maximise the availability of cycles and free
docking points across the scheme. This includes assigning additional staff
out on street to review the situation at docking stations reported as
problem areas.

Teams are deployed in the morning and evening rush hours to ensure we can
meet demand, and we continue to work with the nine London boroughs where
Barclays Cycle Hire is based in order to get more docking points installed
at popular locations and identify additional sites.

Although we endeavour to prevent any single docking station from remaining
full or empty for long periods of time, the scheme is designed to work in
such a way that if there are no cycles at a particular docking station, or
a free docking point, there will be one nearby which does have bikes or
docking points available.  To help customers find them, the status of the
six nearest docking stations is displayed on the terminal, and customers
who find a station full can get an extra 15 minutes of free time to cycle
to the next one.

 

Whilst we would like to increase the size of the busier docking stations,
we must seek planning permission from the boroughs for every docking
station, and we can only build them as large as they allow us to.  Borough
restrictions also influence how and when we are able to perform
redistribution activity, with both Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea
not allowing us to operate between the hours of 22.00-08.00, creating
significant challenges in meeting morning peak demand.

We were always aware that a scheme on this scale and with this level of
technical complexity would be likely to experience some initial issues
that would need to be addressed in the early months.  One of the main
reasons why we launched with a members only model was to help us gain a
good understanding of how, where and when people would use our hire
bikes. However with around 20,000 journeys made on the cycle hire bicycles
every week day, it is clear that the Mayor's flagship cycling scheme has
been embraced by Londoners with people enjoying the freedom and
flexibility that Barclays Cycle Hire gives.

3. Finally, please provide an average length of time that each station is
either full or empty over the last seven days.

 

Please see attached information for the month of March, the most recent
data available, which gives the average length of time each docking
station is empty and full each day.  This is based on all instances
throughout the day, the only exception is when there is restricted access,
e.g. Royal Parks, which are excluded.

 

It is important to note that some boroughs restrict TfL from operating
between 22.00 and 08.00 each day, meaning if a station is full or empty
during those times we are not able to intervene.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

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