Everyone who used one of the Barclays Cycle Hire bikes in London during its launch day on Friday (July 30) will receive a full refund due to technical glitches in the system.

A minority of users had trouble docking the Cycle Hire bikes after using them, leading to excessive charges. Rather than refund just those that experienced a problem, Transport for London (TfL) has decided to refund everyone as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.

TfL says that when cycles are returned to the docking stations after use they should hear a click and see a green light. No green light means that they will carry on being charged for the cycle’s use as it has not been registered as returned.  

TfL estimates that around 6,000 journeys were made on Friday using the new hire cycles in the capital, with a further 4,000 journeys on Saturday. 

Around 12,000 users have signed up for the scheme and paid £3 for a membership key so far – they have access to 6,000 cycles from 400 access points across London. Charges are made dependent on length of usage: Journeys under 30 minutes are free, up to an hour is £1, two hours £6 and so on.

A full list and map of docking stations is available via the Barclays Cycle Hire website.

TfL has also prepared a video on Cycle Hire usage, you can watch it by clicking ‘play’ below…

Related links



Mayor Boris launches London Cycle Hire scheme

  • Helen

    I have happily used the bikes with my daughter a couple of times.

    But I’m a bit worried, because I’ve noticed the last 2 evenings when I’ve passed the cycle stations on my way home from work that both the ones near where I live have been totally full. As I live on the edge of the scheme, there aren’t loads of options close by.

    So if I had cycled home either yesterday or the day before, I would have needed to cycle back in towards the centre desperately looking for a docking station to leave the thing, with a long walk home from wherever I found space — which defeats the purpose!

    Let’s hope they sort out this problem going forward, by moving them away from full stations quickly and proactively, and / or adding new docks to stations that get full too quickly.

  • marc

    The system works nicely in Paris, but noone would care about the long subscribing process as it’s so easy to pay for just one day. By the way the maximum you pay in Paris is 1 euro per day Boris!
    While you’re there dear mayor, use this money to buy a shovel and do the roads in Central London all over again. The potholes are worse than in Bangkok and with bus drivers averaging 90 mph in the city, the journey is far from comfortable…

  • Staurt

    This happened to me on Saturday. I had made about a dozen trips on the bikes on Friday and Saturday.

    I returned the bike on my last trip and locked it in place. No green light, but I couldn’t unlock the bike to try again. So I phoned the cycle hire people, who told me someone would phone back.

    The next thing I know I have been charged £150 and had my account suspended. As this happened on Saturday I don’t get a refund. But I was reassured that this was probably just a technical issue, and I’ll most likely get my money refunded in a few days.