Brent snubbed by Boris Bike scheme

Transport bosses say they have no plans to roll out project in the borough

Cyclists in Brent won’t be benefitting from a popular cycle hire scheme any time soon after transport bosses snubbed the borough in their extension plans.

The Barclays Bike Hire Scheme dubbed ‘Boris Bikes’ allows cyclists to rent bicycles for as little as �1 to make journeys across central London and some outer London boroughs.

The matter was raised when Cllr Paul Lorber, leader of the borough’s Liberal Democrat Group found an abandoned bike miles from the nearest docking station in East Lane, Wembley.

The user faces a potential �300 fine for failing to return it.

Cllr Lorber said: “I can only assume someone pedalled out to Wembley after a night out in London and didn’t realise – or didn’t care – that there are no docking stations north-west of St John’s Wood.

“We would like to see the bike hire scheme extended out at least as far as Wembley stadium.”

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When the Times asked Transport for London (TfL) if there were plans to extend the scheme to Brent they said there were currently ‘no plans’ to.”

Criticising the decision, Cllr Lorber said: “It doesn’t seem right that Boris Johnson is expanding the bike hire scheme to affluent areas while Brent misses out.

“Overall a lot more needs to be done to encourage cycling in Brent. In particular the North Circular is a massive barrier for cyclists trying to head into Central London.”

However, David Arditti, coordinator of Brent Cyclists said that road safety should be the primary concern.

He said: “Far more important than getting Boris Bikes in Brent is to improve cycle routes in the borough.”

A Tfl Spokesman added: “The Mayor would certainly be keen to take Barclays Cycle Hire to other parts of London if further funding becomes available.”