Launch day refund for London cycle hire customers

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The Independent Online

Everyone who tried out London's new cycle hire scheme on launch day was given a refund after a few experienced problems, a Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said.

Around 6,000 journeys were made on Friday using the new bikes and a handful of people struggled to return them successfully to the docking stations.

Those that did not return them properly may have been overcharged for the time they used the bicycle so all cyclists have now been given their money back "as a gesture of goodwill".

A TfL spokesman said: "A small number of members had not docked their bicycles correctly when they finished their journeys. When people re-dock hire cycles, they need to ensure that the light on the docking point turns green and that their cycle clicks into place.

"Members who don't dock their cycles properly in future risk being charged for longer than their actual journey.

"As a measure of goodwill we waived the journey fares for everyone who used the bikes on launch day.

"There are no plans to waive journey fees beyond the launch day, but if customers are confused about the charges they can call the contact centre and any issues will be dealt with on a case by case basis."

London mayor Boris Johnson hailed the cycle hire scheme as "a new dawn for the bicycle in the capital" at its launch.

More than 12,000 people signed up for the Barclays Cycle Hire project, which aims to generate up to 40,000 extra cycle trips a day in central London.

There will be 400 central London docking stations where 6,000 hire cycles will be stored and most are already open.

To begin with, the scheme will be available only to those who sign up for membership and receive a key.

Casual users will be able to hire cycles in around four weeks by paying at the docking station.