London Bikeshare Expanding East and West

The Barclays Cycle Hire bikesharing system (map) in London is due for a major expansion on 8 March. Overnight on the 7th, operators will be working flat out to add 2300 1700 1900 new bikes into 4800 3000 3400 new stands, clustered in the 200 150 new docking stations that have been tested over the last few weeks, across the East End of London (Tower Hamlets, Shoreditch/Hackney Road and Canary Wharf). Also going live the same day will be a much smaller expansion west to the area round the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush in West London. Another small expansion around Camden Town has just been completed, adding several new stands to the northern tip of the system, including handily around Camden Town tube station and Camden Road train station, allowing commuters from the north and the Overground network (like me!) to avoid the expensive Zone 1 fares and Boris Bike the last few kilometres to work.

The expansion will move London up the league table of bike share cities from 7th to 5th – in a top 20 dominated by China. It will remain the second largest system outside of China, after Paris, although New York’s planned system will be even larger:

The Biggest Bike Sharing Cities (March 2012)

City Country Bikes
Mar 2012
Nov 2011
(If Different)
1 Wuhan China 70000
2 Hangzhou China 60600
Bejing (planned) China 50000
3 Paris France 18000
New York (planned) United States 10000
4 Taizhou China 10000
5 London (8 March+) Great Britain 7200 5000
6 Yantai China 6000
7 Shanghai China 5700
Chicago (planned) United States 5000
8 Guangzhou China 5000
9 Barcelona Spain 4700 4400
10 Kaohsiung China 4500
11 Montreal Canada 4220*
12 Foshan China 4000
13 Lyon France 3400 3060
14 Zhangjiagang China 3200
15 Munich Germany 3000
16 Wuham/Qinshan China 3000
17 Toulouse France 2500
18 Brussels Belgium 2180 2060
19 Seville Spain 1950
20 Changshu China 1700 1440

* Currently closed for winter.

Data sources: Scheme operator websites (through my live map),,,, press releases/newspaper articles on new schemes, Wikipedia articles. If you are aware of any mistakes, please let me know and I will correct. Photo: CC-By-NC IanVisits.