Cyclebabble

Wyl asks:

Would like to know if you have a view on why Greenwich has no access to the London bike scheme and has not been included in any expansion scheme.

The Phantom replies:

Why yes, oddly I do, Wyl, thank you for asking. I think the answer’s simple: cash.

Bascially if they were to include Greenwich, they would have to send those little trucks trundling all the way round from the town centre via one of the bridges or the tunnels to bring bikes/take them away and by road it’s a bloomin’  long way.

I often see people bringing Boris bikes over to Greenwich and think ‘ you poor things, you do realise you’re going to have to take ‘em right back afterwards – there’s no dock to be had here.

It would be great to have a dock at the Cutty Sark so people could bring their bikes over to see the sights or even for us to bimble around home town but to do it in isolation would be hugely expensive, and to roll it out all the way from London Bridge to us, via Bermondsey/Rohtherhithe/Deptford, desirable as it might be, nigh-on ruinous.

I know – it seems such a short distance from Island Gardens, but with the Thames in the way and no viable river crossing that doesn’t involve a heck of a long way round I can’t see any expansion happening soon, much as I’d like it.

But maybe someone else has a different idea? Maybe I’ve got it all wrong and it wouldn’t be that pricey after all?


6 Comments to “Cyclebabble”

  1. IslandDweller says:

    I think that’s spot on. You couldn’t add Greenwich in isolation, would need docking stations to cover a wide swathe of surrounding area to be viable. Don’t hold your breath!

  2. Shadders says:

    Yes, you’re quite right. It was always a central scheme that would ripple slowly outwards as it established itself. You need lots of docking stations in close proximity otherwise it doesn’t work. If you can’t find a free bike or a place to dock your bike, you need a choice of other stations close by. That’s why you couldn’t have an enclave in Greenwich that leapfrogged Rotherhithe and Deptford, for example.
    The plan was always to extend the scheme gradually, and it lurched eastwards in honour of the Olympics, but getting it as far as Greenwich from its current southeastern boundary in Bermondsey would require a level of investment they don’t have – particularly since it operates at a loss and Barclays pulled their sponsorship.
    But Greenwich residents can enjoy a major benefit in that we can catch a train to zone one and pick up a Boris Bike there.

  3. Meirion says:

    Canary Wharf docking stations are just ten minutes ride from Cutty Sark but marginal cost of refreshing bikes would be high unless there were more locations in South East London

  4. Jon says:

    As Meirion says, there are docking stations on the IoD. Actually, you don’t even have to go as far as Canary Wharf – there are two in close proximity to Island Gardens. So it seems absurd that there is no solution that allows Greenwich’s tens of thousands of tourists to cycle across the river to a World Heritage Site. Sounds to me like those who run the scheme are being somewhat unimaginative and the north-of-the-river bias of the scheme generally needs addressing. Why not use a small boat to do the necessary ferrying and re-distribution back into the centre? Surely not beyond the wit of man (though conceivably beyond the wit of Greenwich Council…)

  5. Sri says:

    Yes, in theory, Island Gardens and Canary Wharf are just 5-10mins away on the cycle, but considering that the lift is often a problem in the Greenwich foot tunnel and it’s not much fun carrying a cycle up and down 198 steps, the other option is for the cyclist to take the cycle on the DLR, which is again only realistically possible in very low-traffic off-peak hours.

  6. Nathan says:

    Not sure I entirely buy the reasons for the bikes not making it ths side of the river. Don’t know if the link will work but Darryl over at 853 talked about it last year.

    http://853blog.com/tag/barclays-cycle-hire/

    I can’t find the article now, but I thought I’d read somewhere that another reason was it was too hilly for the bikes here!