Why use the tube when you can cycle to work!?
Over the past few years, we have seen an exponential increase in the number of commuters cycling to work. Since restrictions were put in place on public transport at the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in cyclists across the capital.
Many commuters were apprehensive and intimidated about the dangers of cycling on busy multi-lane highways. However, life for a cyclist is now a calmer one with new and improved cycle-lanes. Cycle-superhighways and quiet-ways have connected all four corners of London, making it easier and vastly safer to navigate through London’s busy city centre.
TFL are continuing to create safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists alike in their most recent Streetspace scheme. This new scheme endeavours to help manage the pandemic by creating more cycle lanes and broader pavements so that commuters can maintain social distancing. For instance, in the City of London around many of our centres, roads from Holborn to Aldgate are seeing significant cycling improvements. Our centres are now easily accessible by bike because of these new developments with several quiet-ways and cycle superhighways situated right on our centre’s doorsteps.
You might be thinking, “This is all well and good, but what if I don’t own a bike?” The answer is a simple one; hire a bike using the Bike Sharing Scheme! There are two different versions of bike hire across London, the docking station and the dockless bike scheme.
Here are a few examples:
Santander Cycles are the original, official London bike hire scheme operated by TFL. This scheme has been operational since 2010 and offers over 11,500 bikes with over 750 docking stations across London with several docking stations in walking distance of our centres. Hiring a Santander Cycle costs only £2 for unlimited journeys for up 30 minutes. All you need to do is either download the app or go to a docking station terminal with your bank card, and off you go when you finish your journey, alight from the bike and dock it into the nearest docking station at your destination.
Mobike arrived in the London Market in 2017 and operates under a station-free system. To use Mobike’s service, download the app, find the nearest bike to you, scan the QR code, and you’re away. The app runs on a top-up system, and ‘pay-as-you-go’ rides calculated depending on the amount of time you ride. The simplicity of dockless bike hires is that you can lock your bike anywhere. Just slide the lock across the bike and wait for the app to acknowledge that you have ended your trip.
Jump, formerly part of Uber, now recently acquired by Lime is back on the streets of London. An electrically assisted bike known as pedelecs; these bikes will take most of the burden off your legs. For now, Jump still has the ease of use of being a part of Uber’s app. As most Londoners will already have the Uber app downloaded, all you need to do is switch from ‘Trip’ to ‘Bike’ to find the nearest available bike. Again, to unlock the bike, scan the QR code. Jump also has the feature of reserving a bike for 30 minutes, which no other bike hire app offers. However, Jump is one of the pricier options with a cost of £1 to unlock and 15p for every minute thereafter.
The bike-sharing scheme is excellent for those who live in the City or commute by train into a mainline station. It can be a cost-effective way of getting around while keeping physically and mentally healthy. Not only does cycling have significant benefits to our mental health, but it is also a great way to avoid transmitting COVID-19 on public transport as you will now no longer have to be wary of overcrowding on tubes.
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