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Affordable bike-sharing arrives in Hackney

PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:55 12 September 2017

The bikes are being rolled out across Hackney. Picture: Ofo

The bikes are being rolled out across Hackney. Picture: Ofo

Archant

An affordable bike-sharing platform has been rolled out in Hackney with the backing of the town hall.

Ofo is the world’s first “station-free” cycle sharing firm – meaning the bikes don’t have to be left at stations miles from your home. This morning 200 cycles were placed across the borough, with more to come if it goes well.

The company is accredited by representative body Bikeplus, pays its staff the London Living Wage and consults with cyclists and local bike shops.

It has arrived in Hackney, the biggest cycling borough in the capital, after launching in Cambridge and Oxford over the summer.

Hackney’s transport boss Cllr Feryal Demirci, said Ofo had the potential to change the way people travel by making it affordable.

“We’ve been impressed by Ofo’s responsible approach,” she said. “The Santander bikes, which have been very successful in London, have not expanded as far as we would have liked.

“We are going to work with Ofo to make sure users are given information on locations where they can park their bike to prevent issues, such as obstructing the footway and parking on busy narrow pavements.

“That’s why we are pleased that ofo have entered into a dialogue with us and committed to operational standards instead of just putting the bikes on the street and hoping for the best.”

Ofo’s yellow bikes can be hired through a smartphone app for just 50p for 30 minutes, and can be picked up and dropped off anywhere bike parking is allowed. There’s no deposit and the bikes are unlocked via Bluetooth.

Ofo operations director Joseph Seal-Driver praised the town hall for showing “innovative thinking” in tackling congestion and pollution.

He said: “We’re delighted Ofo is coming to Hackney, a borough famed for leading the way on cleaner, greener transport, with the highest cycling rates in the capital.”

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