Those hulking great bikes parked up around London that you can pick up and take for a quick whizz are about to get a fleet upgrade, with current cycle scheme sponsor Santander and Transport for London lining up a complete refresh of the hardware.
The cost of the upgrade for car owners to get angry about? £80m. For that, transportless Londoners will get 500 new bicycles spread across the city, with the newer models starting to replace the older units in 2018.
They'll hopefully be a bit more rewarding to ride as well, as TfL is promising a lighter construction for this second wave of public cycles, along with a lower frame to make them more accessible to all -- and smaller 24" wheels. The new bikes will be some 2kg lighter than existing models, so should be a bit easier to haul around some of the city's older and lumpier kerbs.
Outsourcing giant Serco is to be put in charge of the bike laundering scheme, handing some of the money to UK-based Pashley Cycles to provide the bikes themselves. And a long-term future for the bikes has been secured, with Serco's contract currently running until 2022. [Mayor via BBC]