Transport for London has announced it will waive the £2 hire charge for its popular Santander Cycles this weekend to mark the bikes’ sixth anniversary in the capital.
Inspired by a similar cycle hire scheme in Paris, the red bicycles – which used to be blue – were introduced to London’s streets by then mayor of London Boris Johnson in 2010, earning them the nickname ‘Boris bikes’.
On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 August, tourists and Londoners can unlock one of the bulky rides from any docking station in the city for free by using the code “FREE2016”.
They will then be able to go anywhere on the bike in the first 30 minutes without a charge, as usual.
But day-trippers should be warned that while they can make as many separate free 30-minute journeys in 24 hours as they like, any extra minutes after the first half hour will be charged to the card they used to take out the bike.
The bicycles have been sponsored by British bank Santander, owned by the Spanish Santander group, since April 2015. Before that they were sponsored by Barclays.
More than 52 million journeys have been made on the bicycles since they were launched in London, where there are now more than 785 docking stations.
In June, a similar city bike rental scheme started in Milton Keynes, also sponsored by Santander.
And Liverpool, Oxford, and Sheffield are among the towns with their own bicycle hire schemes, most of which are run by the company Hourbike, which has been providing them since 2007.
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