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The image shows LBHF cycling officer Simon Franklin [left] talking to Bernie Hanning, the inventor of the scheme.

At our meeting 13 February 2002, Bernie Hanning gave a short presentation of his OYbike rental scheme. However great the benefits may be, this scheme may cause some difficulties for cyclists using their own bikes at the 200 cycle parking stands which have been designated as shared use. It is possible you could lock your bike to an empty stand and return to find 1 to 3 OYbikes blocking you in. We would like to see separate stands. Our critical appraisal of this scheme has not endeared us to those promoting it.

10 July 2002.
We sent a letter to the Council setting out our concerns. In spite of this the proposal for a pilot study is given a go ahead.

September 2004. After more than 2 years, OYbike opens for business following a lot of publicity. With about 25 stands being used. It will be appraised by Dr Bob Noland at Imperial College for TfL, with an interim report after 3 months, and a final report after 6 months.

It is perhaps surprising that there has not been more development on the usability of the scheme. For example the codes you have to read off the screen and send over the mobile phone use 13 digits. The contact is in the Czech Republic. The possible problems arising from the shared use of stands does not appear to have been addressed at all. And there is the question of whether the market lies in the availability of bikes for commuters, or for visitors who would like to hire a bike.

The use of advertising on the bikes, and hoped-for revenue, would appear to be a major part of the economics, driving force behind the scheme.

Summer 2005. Very few people use oybike. Basically the bikes are being used mainly as advertising sites. The partnership between the Urban Partnership Group and Bernie Hanning collapses. The UPG is left with several hundred oybikes on its hands. It launches Pedal Power to recycle these bikes and get them being used. The original not-for-profit company "The Oybike Initiative [Hammersmith] Ltd" is renamed Pedal Power London and has a website at www.pedalpowerlondon.org.

Bernie Hanning has a few oybikes remain on the street promoting the Wetlands Centre. Why? And under what agreement with whom?

Other more fully developed systems may be found at:

description of above in english

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  • John Griffiths
  • 020 7371 1290 / 07789 095 748
  • john@truefeelings.com
  • 122c Edith Road, West Kensington, W14 9AP

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