By Max Clarke

Londoners using the Mayor’s flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme have cycled 10,000,000km on the iconic blue bikes, the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back 13 times, in its first six months of operation.

The Mayor’s transport advisor, Kulveer Ranger, will tell a conference in London on urban cycling today (1 February) that users have now clocked up over 2.5 million journeys using the bikes. He will also confirm the expansion of Barclays Cycle Hire across a large area of east London will be complete by spring 2012.

By spring 2012 the Barclays Cycle Hire area will be extended beyond central London to include all of the Borough of Tower Hamlets as well as North Shoreditch in the Borough of Hackney. People living in Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar will also see docking stations built in their areas.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, said: “One of the best things about Barclays Cycle Hire has been the number of cyclists who have told me how the bikes have made a positive change to their life, as well as their commute. Users say they feel healthier, fitter and invigorated when they reach their destination. That is all part of the joy of taking to two wheels and one of the reasons why in just six months our blue bikes have made a huge contribution to the cycle revolution the Mayor wants to bring to London."

Altogether 2,000 more cycles and 4,200 extra docking points will be installed across the existing and new Barclays Cycle Hire area when the next phase of expansion of the scheme is complete. At that stage the scheme will cover 65km² of the capital and around 8,000 hire bikes will be available from 14,400 docking points at hundreds of locations across central and east London.

On its busiest day of operation so far more than 27,500 cycle journeys were made using Barclays Cycle Hire covering over 124,800km, which is equivalent to travelling the length of the Victoria line 5,943 times. Nearly 110,000 people are now Barclays Cycle Hire members and casual customers have already purchased over 28,000 access periods, making over 70,000 cycle journeys since the scheme was launched to casual customers just eight weeks ago.

TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire customers are really embracing the scheme. The bikes are now a popular sight across central London, transforming the way people make short trips around the capital. Thousands of Londoners and visitors are taking full advantage of the scheme each day. Around 95 per cent of all journeys made by Barclays Cycle Hire members have been under 30 minutes, which means that the vast majority of people using the scheme aren’t paying any more than their access period.”