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Call for Boris Bikes to be extended to Upper Street

17:21 12 May 2011

Jenny Jones (Green)-planning

Jenny Jones (Green)-planning

London Assembly

Boris’s bikes could be rolled out to Upper Street after green politician and cycling campaigner Jenny Jones backed the idea.

Islington currently has docking stations for the mayor’s flagship cycle hire Scheme in the south of the borough, but cyclists are keen to see the scheme extended north into areas such as Upper Street, Essex Road and Highbury.

Ms Jones, a London Assembly Member, made the plea while appearing as guest speaker at the Islington Cyclists’ Action Group AGM at Islington Town Hall yesterday (May 11).

She said: “Paris had plans to expand their scheme right from the moment it was installed. The London scheme is about half the area of the Paris one. Extending the London scheme is a very very urgent job for the Mayor.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea to extend the scheme to Upper Street. I think the mayor is waiting for more money from the sponsors Barclays.”

John Ackers, committee member of Islington Cyclists’ Action Group, said: “We would be very favourable to the idea of extending the scheme into north Islington.

“The more people that are on bikes then the safer for everybody. It changes the whole culture of the street.

“Apart from north of Archway, up Highgate Hill, Islington is pretty flat and perfect for the bikes.”

The idea of more docking stations has also been welcomed by the local business fraternity.

Christine Lovett, director of the Angel town centre group, said: “We already have them on Liverpool Road and we are looking to get them on Islington Green. We welcome any scheme that enables people to get to their destination easily and helps them to shop locally and make use of what we have to offer.”

The cycle hire scheme was first introduced in London in July 2010, and Ms Jones played a big role in bringing the scheme across the channel.

“I went to Paris to look at their bike hire scheme and when I came back I said to Ken Livingstone ‘we have to do this’,” she told last night’s meeting. “but he left it to Boris.

“I would have been quite happy if they were called Ken’s bikes.

“We needed funding from somewhere for the bikes, but I don’t support taking money from Barclays in any way - £25 million is nothing for all the advertising they are getting.”

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