Nick Hill

Mobike launches dockless cycling in South London

Mobike, the world’s first smart bike sharing company, has extended its scheme to South London by setting up operations in Southwark.

The borough will see an initial 200 bikes being deployed across Rotherhithe and Camberwell, with that number growing based on demand.

The move to Southwark means that Mobike users can now ride freely to and from neighbouring areas such as Islington and the City.

Steve Pyer, UK general manager for Mobike, said: “The Mayor’s Transport Strategy has set the very ambitious objective of increasing the number of cycle journeys made in London by 400% by 2026.

“Bikesharing has a key role to play in this – and if we are to make a real difference in Londoners’ daily commute, being in Southwark is an important step.

“As one of the biggest boroughs, and a major connection to the Square Mile, Southwark is going to allow us to significantly expand our users’ journeys, giving them access to South, North and Central London – with more to follow soon! We’re excited to see how this borderless bike sharing opportunity is going to encourage cycling in London.”

Cllr Ian Wingfield said: “I am really pleased to be bringing on demand bike hire to the whole of Southwark. Mobike and ofo are experts in their field and they are committed to working with us to promote responsible and safe cycling, including the parking of their bikes.

“Many residents have been very clear that this is something that they would welcome and we hope the bikes will help encourage people to give cycling a try and get out and explore the whole of Southwark.”

This move follows on from discussions between Mobike and Southwark’s local authorities to assess the borough’s transport infrastructure and cycling culture. Southwark Council has chosen to adopt a multi-operator model, with different bike sharing schemes being available within the borough, providing residents with more choice and bike availability.

Both Mobike and ofo will deploy bikes on the 12th of March, with the launch event being attended by councillors Ian Wingfield and Kath Wittan.

Mobike’s team will be working with Southwark Council and ofo to take into account the borough’s existing transport infrastructure and to ensure people have easy access to the bikes.

Steve Pyer continued: “Southwark has shown a really progressive attitude toward the dockless opportunity. They’ve been smart in choosing a multi-operator model. We’re excited about working alongside other bike sharing schemes.

“We are taking this as the opportunity to show London boroughs that the industry can work well together, and that we’re all aligned in our focus: providing Londoners with a more sustainable, affordable and convenient mode of transportation.

“We’re completely focused on our riders, and on what people need in order to make cycling part of their daily life. We’re hoping that other London boroughs will take Southwark’s lead, and allow Londoners access to more choice and more areas to cycle to and from.”

Mobike is already present in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow, Islington and the City, as well as in Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford. Worldwide, Mobike is already in 200 cities and reaches 30 million peak hires a day.

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