Boris bike scheme to double in size as Barclays ends sponsorship

London’s cycling-supporting Mayor, Boris Johnson, is to announce a significant extension to the London bicycle hire network today, in a move that will encourage higher participation in cycling after a year blighted by fatalities in the capital.

The expansion will see the area covered by the scheme double, with 150 new docking stations and a further 2000 bikes added.

The network will spread south and west into Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth and Lambeth.

The move comes just days after Barclays Bank announced it will be ending its sponsorship of the scheme by 2015. The bank said its decision was not influenced by controversy surrounding a spate of cyclist deaths which saw six people killed in accidents across the capital last month.

Barclays’ withdrawal means that the bank will only deliver half of the planned £50m, leaving the scheme in need of another sponsor by August 2015.

Graeme Craig, Transport for London’s director of commercial development, will lead the hunt for a new backer, as he tries to boost non-fare revenues for the cycle-hire scheme.

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