More docking stations called for
Published: 8 August, 2014
by ANGUS BERWICK
THE Mayor of London is facing calls to widen the bank-sponsored bike hire scheme into north Westminster.
Maida Vale councillor Rita Begum is leading calls to extend the so-called Boris Bikes further north.
She said: “The residents came up with the idea, their voice should be heard. Maida Vale should be on the list”.
An online petition, launched by Cllr Begum, who joined the council in May, calls for “additional docking stations for the bike hire scheme in the Maida Vale area beyond Warwick Avenue, so that residents of Maida Vale can use the bikes from their neighbourhood”.
At the moment the nearest docking stations to Maida Vale are on Warwick Avenue, Cllr Begum said.
Nick Aldworth, from Transport for London, ruled out an expansion and said: “We are keen to take the scheme to other parts of London if further funding becomes available, however we currently do not have any plans to widen the scheme to Maida Vale”.
The challenge of funding an expansion of the bike scheme worsened last December when Barclays ended their sponsorship. The bank pulled out having paid less than half of the £50million it initially promised to invest.
However the bike scheme continues to extend further into south west London and last month, TfL unveiled three new docking stations in Clapham Junction, Battersea and Clapham Common.
With the continuing popularity of the bike hire scheme, Cllr Begum hopes that TfL will recognise the advantages of building docking stations in Maida Vale.
However it looks like TfL will continue to focus on other areas in the near future. A request by Islington Council in 2012 to extend the bike hire scheme north also fell on deaf ears.