The five year contract is valued at £79.7m and Serco will distribute and maintain the hire scheme, while the upgraded bike will be made by Pashley Cycles, a Stratford-upon-Avon firm which celebrated its 90th anniversary this year.
The revamped bikes will start to hit the streets from next year as the older versions are put out to pasture. The new Santander Cycles will be 2kg lighter and are meant to be more manoeuvrable with smaller wheels, a gel saddle and a new gear hub.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “It’s already known across the world as a convenient way to get around our city, so it’s great news that these lighter British-made bikes will make it even easier for everyone. Cycling is good for our health, air quality and congestion, and that’s exactly why I’m working so hard to make it safer and easier for all Londoners.”
Serco has been responsible for the operation of the capital’s cycle hire scheme since it launched in 2010. The running of the scheme will now be split between operations and customer service, with Serco retaining the former, while the payments and customer service elements will be wrapped into TfL’s wider customer service structure to provide a single point of contact for bike users. The change will mean customers can use a single log-in to review their entire TfL travel history.
Since the launch of London’s cycle hire scheme back in July 2010 by Mayor at the time Boris Johnson, more than 54 million journeys have been made on the bikes and the Santander Cycles app which launched last May, has been downloaded 275,000 times.