Boris bikes ruled out as Croydon bids to become cycling hub

Your Local Guardian: Boris Johnson with the Barclays-sponsored bicycles, which are not coming to Croydon Boris Johnson with the Barclays-sponsored bicycles, which are not coming to Croydon

Croydon could be in line for a slice of £100m funding to turn the borough into cycling hub - but 'Boris bikes' will not be part of the plans.

The council is preparing a bid for big-money investment to pay for substantial redesigns to transform the town centre and make it more cycle-friendly.

TfL and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, are to pick four outer London boroughs to share the cash, which he claims will transform them into 'mini-Hollands'. 

But the Croydon Guardian understands Boris bikes - the iconic network of rental cycles that can be picked up and dropped off across central London - are unlikely to feature even if Croydon's bid is successful.

The Mayor suggested last year that bringing the scheme to Croydon was a priority.

But it is thought there are too few appropriate locations in the borough where bikes could be 'docked'.

Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: "We'd love to have Boris bikes, but I'm told the model of the Boris bikes dock wouldn't really work in a Croydon setting."

Councillor Steve O'Connell, Croydon's London Assembly member, said: "I set my stall out early on to lobby for Croydon to be top of the list if the Mayor was going to pilot an outer-London standalone bike scheme.

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"I am now less convinced that Croydon would lend itself to the Boris bike scheme, because of the way the logistics work."

"But our engineers are working up some really good other cycling schemes that I think will benefit our residents."

An alternative hire scheme could form part of Croydon Council's bid for a share of the cycle fund.

Councils have been told their proposals should include town-centre redesigns, new bridges, a network of cycle routes, efforts to tackle problematic junctions and cycle parking 'superhubs'.

Croydon's blueprints could involve offering cycle hire at Lloyd Park and connecting it to the town centre with bike lanes.

Coun Perry said: "There's a lot going on in Croydon, a lot of investment and some big changes coming up. Croydon would be an excellent location for a lot of this money to be spent.

"We will certainly be bidding for a lot of it."

Mr Johnson said: "This will go beyond anything seen in the UK before.

"It could amount to a complete transport makeover of the successful boroughs - benefiting everybody in them, not just cyclists."

Is Croydon bad for cyclists? What needs to improve? Post your comment below.

Comments (6)

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9:46am Fri 10 May 13

pjb32 says...

I fail to understand how Croydon can say it wants to become a 'cycling hub' when almost every open space in the borough bans cycling. Where does it expect cyclists of the future to learn to ride ? Certainly not on the extremely busy roads (with or without cycle lanes) I hope.
I fail to understand how Croydon can say it wants to become a 'cycling hub' when almost every open space in the borough bans cycling. Where does it expect cyclists of the future to learn to ride ? Certainly not on the extremely busy roads (with or without cycle lanes) I hope. pjb32

4:11pm Fri 10 May 13

ANNE GILES says...

I am not in favour of bicycles at all.
I am not in favour of bicycles at all. ANNE GILES

6:30pm Fri 10 May 13

ArfurTowcrate says...

You should be in favour of bicycles, Anne.

The more people that cycle, the easier it will be for you to drive your Qashqai (less congestion) and park it (ten bicycles can park in the space taken up by one car).

Your fellow Croydon citizens will be healthier and happier, according to the British Medical Association, and so when you need to get medical treatment on the NHS, there will be more money for care and less people queueing up to get it.

You will breathe easier (less air pollution), the local economy will improve - traffic congestion costs money and if New York city is anything to go by, catering for cyclists boosts trade - while the planet will benefit (bicycles are the ultimate zero carbon emission vehicles).

What's not to like?
You should be in favour of bicycles, Anne. The more people that cycle, the easier it will be for you to drive your Qashqai (less congestion) and park it (ten bicycles can park in the space taken up by one car). Your fellow Croydon citizens will be healthier and happier, according to the British Medical Association, and so when you need to get medical treatment on the NHS, there will be more money for care and less people queueing up to get it. You will breathe easier (less air pollution), the local economy will improve - traffic congestion costs money and if New York city is anything to go by, catering for cyclists boosts trade - while the planet will benefit (bicycles are the ultimate zero carbon emission vehicles). What's not to like? ArfurTowcrate

6:30pm Fri 10 May 13

motomoto says...

Croydon being more cycle friendly is one thing but what we don't want is another Cambridge style town where cycles take more priority over any other form of transport.....don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against cyclists however it is not just cyclists to be considered..........
........
Croydon being more cycle friendly is one thing but what we don't want is another Cambridge style town where cycles take more priority over any other form of transport.....don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against cyclists however it is not just cyclists to be considered.......... ........ motomoto

9:52pm Fri 10 May 13

angus h says...

If you mean it's not just cyclists, as in, it's not just those individualistic & hardy people who ride bikes now.. absolutely.

The whole point of putting all this investment in is to make it an attractive option for (for want of a better word) normal people. Families. Secondary school kids. People whose idea of exercise doesn't involve racing against a 468 bus. People getting the shopping in. People who are just dabbling & don't have the space or the money for a bike of their own, so need to hire one.

3-5 miles on flat ground is a really short distance on a bike IF the roads are friendly. Much of the time it's actually quicker than driving - fewer jams, less hunting for somewhere to park, a few short cuts.. you can easily cover 3 miles in 15 minutes, without trying too hard.

Not quite sure what you mean about Cambridge though.. they have the same laws we do here, main reason the place is so full of bikes is all the students.. also it's rather a small town, most peoples' journeys are only a couple of miles. Same's true for quite a lot of Croydon though.. there's a massive population within 3 miles of the town centre, it's pretty much flat, and a lot of people too young or too broke to run their own car.

Anne, really puzzled by your remark.. even if you don't ever want to ride one, what's not to like? Why wouldn't you want other people to be able to enjoy it?
If you mean it's not just cyclists, as in, it's not just those individualistic & hardy people who ride bikes now.. absolutely. The whole point of putting all this investment in is to make it an attractive option for (for want of a better word) normal people. Families. Secondary school kids. People whose idea of exercise doesn't involve racing against a 468 bus. People getting the shopping in. People who are just dabbling & don't have the space or the money for a bike of their own, so need to hire one. 3-5 miles on flat ground is a really short distance on a bike IF the roads are friendly. Much of the time it's actually quicker than driving - fewer jams, less hunting for somewhere to park, a few short cuts.. you can easily cover 3 miles in 15 minutes, without trying too hard. Not quite sure what you mean about Cambridge though.. they have the same laws we do here, main reason the place is so full of bikes is all the students.. also it's rather a small town, most peoples' journeys are only a couple of miles. Same's true for quite a lot of Croydon though.. there's a massive population within 3 miles of the town centre, it's pretty much flat, and a lot of people too young or too broke to run their own car. Anne, really puzzled by your remark.. even if you don't ever want to ride one, what's not to like? Why wouldn't you want other people to be able to enjoy it? angus h

1:01pm Mon 13 May 13

Oliviaroberta says...

Yes, the people who are anti-cycling puzzle me too. Surely, if more people used their bikes, there would be less congestion and pollution for all of us. And I think Cambridge is a lovely place to be ... I would not really prefer it if the high street was a mass of fast-moving cars. Or in a permanent traffic jam. I think Croydon should be kind to cyclists!
Yes, the people who are anti-cycling puzzle me too. Surely, if more people used their bikes, there would be less congestion and pollution for all of us. And I think Cambridge is a lovely place to be ... I would not really prefer it if the high street was a mass of fast-moving cars. Or in a permanent traffic jam. I think Croydon should be kind to cyclists! Oliviaroberta

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