London’s cycle hire scheme has soared in popularity in lockdown, new figures show.
The Santander Cycle bikes are often called “Boris bikes” in reference to Boris Johnson’s introduction of them during his time as London Mayor in 2010.
Now, 10 years later, Transport for London (TFL) has said the scheme has seen its biggest demand yet in lockdown, with 51,938 hires made on 24 June alone.
According to TFL, the weekend of 20-21 June saw an increase of 150 per cent in the number of bikes hired compared with the same weekend in 2019.
The surge is thought to be due to the number of people avoiding public transport in the city as per government guidelines.
The government has urged the British public to only use tubes, buses and trains for essential journeys so as to maintain social distancing.
Additional safety measures have also been implemented, such as legislation that requires people to wear a face covering while using public transport.
London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown commented: “Even with the recent changes to social distancing guidelines, the number of people we can safely carry on the transport network will still be limited.
“As the Government guidelines have set out, people should continue to work from home if they can, shop locally and avoid public transport where possible to create space for those who need to use it.
“Please consider walking or cycling all or part of your journey if you can.
“Some customers may be returning to the network for the first time since the pandemic and I ask them to please help keep things safe by avoiding the peak times, wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth for your entire journey, and acting on the instructions of our staff who are there to help.
“With everyone’s cooperation we can keep the network safe for everyone.”