Cycling Weekly tested out the London cycle hire scheme when it was first launched in July, and we were duly impressed.

The bikes are good, well distributed and provide the most pleasant means of getting around central London that falls within our expense budget.

If we had just one criticism, though, it was the level of pre-meditation needed to use the scheme. First you had to register to become a member, wait for a key to arrive in the post and then authenticate it online or by phone.

That may not be the biggest upheaval in the world, but we’ve come across more than a few people who’d like to use the scheme but just never got around to filling out the form.

From today, however, that’s no longer a prerequisite.

A little later than was originally proposed, the scheme has now opened to casual users. That means anyone carrying a Mastercard, Visa or Visa Electron can use the scheme on a whim.

This video from Transport for London shows you how.

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