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Serco carries on cycling – new bikes and more innovations for London Cycle Hire Scheme

Published: 3 Oct 2016

Serco has signed a new contract with Transport for London (TfL) to continue providing, maintaining and distributing the bicycles for the London Cycle Hire Scheme, more commonly known as ‘Santander Cycles’, for at least another five years.  

The new contract, starting in August 2017, has a total contract value estimated at £79.7m for the initial five years and three months. Additional contract extensions will be available under the contract for up to a further five years.

Under the new contract, Serco will gradually start introducing a new British made bicycle to the Scheme.  The new bike, which will be assembled in Stratford-Upon-Avon, will be 10% lighter than the current model and is designed to give a more manoeuvrable and comfortable ride.  It is being developed in conjunction with Pashley Cycles, Britain’s longest established cycle manufacturer who this year is celebrating its 90th year of designing and hand-building a wide range of bicycles.  Additionally, Serco is already introducing the innovative Blaze Laserlights to the scheme, which three quarters of riders say make them feel more confident cycling on London’s roads.

Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “As a regular user of Santander Cycles I am really pleased that we are going to continue to provide this iconic service for London’s residents, commuters and visitors for at least another five years. 

“Since the Scheme started in 2010, Serco has worked hard with TfL to improve and grow the service. Recently we have started to bring in Laserlights to improve rider visibility and in 2018 we will start introducing new lighter bikes and we are delighted to be working with Blaze and Pashley Cycles, two great British companies, to bring in these exciting innovations. We aim to build on the past six successful years and deliver an even better service for TfL and everyone in London.”

Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's General Manager of Santander Cycles, said: “We’ve had six successful years of London’s cycle hire scheme but we’re looking to the future and are excited to be able to bring the next-generation of Santander Cycles to London’s streets.

“The new bikes will be lighter and slightly smaller, to encourage even more people to have a go, and will be made by Pashley Cycles, which has a rich history of producing bikes in the UK dating back to 1926.”

Steven Bell, Pashley Cycles General Manager said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious and important scheme.  We were approached by Serco in early 2015 and became their official bike partner. We have been helping them develop a new product for London since then.

“Although we are still in the product development stage, our Research and Development team’s design has been selected by TfL as one that meets its requirements. We now need to turn that design into a production ready bike.”

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Interesting Facts

  • On average each bike was cycled for 5,694 km between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016.
  • The busiest station is Waterloo.
  • Just 20 of our Docking Stations account for over 10% of the total hires.
  • The oldest bike was added to the scheme on 15th July 2010.
  • In the last year, Serco mechanics changed: - 
    • 9,534 inner tubes.
    • 5,907 wheels.
    • the chain 11,838 times.
  • Every bike receives a service at least once a year which means that there were over 14,600 services in the 12 months to March 2016.
  • Between them the two bicycle maintenance depots can complete 220 bicycle services or 300 repairs a day.
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