Sandra Lema Trillo was th first to ‘Borrow’
Londoners are being invited to experience cycling in the capital with the launch on Wednesday of an innovative “Borrow the Bike” campaign. The bikes are being placed at selected commuter ‘pinch-points’ and parks around the capital with the public invited to change their usual travel habits and saddle up – for free!
The campaign comes from Halfords, with the aim of encouraging more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling as well as providing commuters with another option to beat congestion. Campaign manager Barbara Cadd said:
“With the average car speed in London down to just 7mph, we firmly believe ‘life’s better and often quicker on a bicycle’ – that’s why, throughout September, we are inviting Londoners, and visitors, to ‘Borrow the Bike”. People can ride them whenever and wherever they like as long as they leave the bike somewhere suitable for someone else to try.
“Cycling is great exercise, inexpensive and it doesn’t damage the environment. We hope people will have a go and then log onto a special website www.borrowthebike.com to tell us about their experiences, good or bad.”
At the end of the campaign, Halfords will gather up the bikes, refurbish them and donate them to the charity Bikes4Africa.
“I’m hoping that Londoners will use the bikes in the right spirit and keep them out on the streets for all to use for as long as possible,” said Barbara. “This is an experiment but if it is as successful as we hope then we will seriously look at extending it to other cities.”
The campaign has the support of Transport for London and Sustrans, which operates the national cycle network. Adrian Bell, Sustainable Mobility Manager at Transport for London’s Centre of Cycling Excellence, said:
“More and more people are getting out on their bikes and finding out what a great city London is to cycle in. London is the fastest growing cycling city in Europe – there are now more than 450,000 cycle journeys a day in the capital with cycle journeys on major roads up by over 70 per cent since 2000.
“Halfords ‘Borrow the Bike’ initiative is a great project – I wish it every success and hope it will encourage even more Londoners to give cycling a go.”
Among the first to trial the scheme was Sandra Lema Trillo, aged 28, who commutes from Baron’s Court to offices near Tottenham Court Road.
“I think ‘Borrow the Bike’ is a great initiative, particularly for central London,” she said. “The bright orange bikes are definitely attracting attention and I would recommend anyone to hop on the saddle and give it a go. It can seem busy when you first get on, but you quickly get used to it and it’s very sociable when you pull up and talk to other cyclists at the traffic lights.”