Cycle hire docking stations
The bicycle line: Bozza's cycle scheme arrives in Scala Street. Picture: Linus Rees

By Linus Rees

The first of several cycle hire stations arrived in Fitzrovia this morning and drew interest from residents, commuters and tourists. The first of the cycle docking stations are sited on the corner of Scala Street and Charlotte Street. The scheme is due to be launched on 30 July.

While many people have welcomed a scheme that encourages cycling, some residents have complained about the location of the docking stations, which can be used 24-hours-a-day, near to homes.

In Great Titchfield Street residents lost their battle to stop a docking station placed within a few metres of bedroom windows when Westminster City Council granted permission. In Huntley Street residents are also concerned about the proposed placing of the docking stations near to homes.

In Goodge Street cycle stands were moved after payment from a local business who wanted them sited elsewhere.

Elsewhere in London, docking stations have been refused planning permission because of concerns about noise nuisance at night.

See London cycle hire scheme for more information.

London Cycle Campaign has called on London’s drivers to take more care after the cycle hire scheme launches on 30 July. — Cycle Hire users depend on London drivers taking more care

Cycling is not dangerous — writes Dr Robert Davis, of the Road Danger Reduction Forum

Dr Robert Davis of The Road Danger Reduction Forum has written a comprehensive analysis of Bozza’s recent cycling initiatives.

4 replies on “Cycle hire stations arrive in Fitzrovia”

  1. Really? People moaning? I can well believe they are, but Fitzrovia is hardly a super quiet area, yes there will be clanking, but also there is a nearly free bike outside their house. Brilliant Yes? I shall try to be extra quiet using the great titchfield street ones.

    1. This is the type of comment I often hear, usually from people who don’t live in Fitzrovia. People seem to think that if you live in central London you’ve no right to peace and quiet. But Fitzrovia is quite a quiet place and often described as a little oasis.

      The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme has been designed not to inconvenience car drivers and locations for the docking stations in and around central London have been planned so as not to remove car parking space. But residents in Fitzrovia (most of whom do not own a car) are given little consideration.

      The Great Titchfield Street site is an example where the docking station has been installed just metres from people’s living rooms and bedrooms. There was no car-parking space on this stretch of road before.

      In Huntley Street a docking station is planned where space is very tight and there are lots of refuse bins. They could have put the docking stations further up the road, away from the Gordon Mansions residential blocks, and next to business premises.

      I own three bicycles and so am not anti-cycling. Quite the opposite. But this cycle scheme needs to be seen for what it really is. It’s a commercial hire scheme and designed to attract tourists into all areas of central London.

      Cyclists need a change in road traffic laws to protect them on the road so that the onus is on the more powerful road user to look out for the more vulnerable (as is in some European countries). This change would also advantage pedestrians over cyclists. The more vulnerable you are, you should have the protection of the law.

      On-road Cycle training needs to be promoted and delivered much more than it has been. But the authorities are reluctant to do this as it is expensive. So it relies on the volunteer “bike buddy” scheme to prop up an inadequate training regime.

      Just getting sheer numbers of people on hire bikes and slapping blue paint on the roads is a gimmick and won’t change London as a cycling city for the better.

      Linus, assistant editor FN

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