Since they were first introduced, ‘Boris bikes’ have spread all over inner London. Southwark however, has been left out as it has no docking stations, except for a few in the very North-East of the borough.
There are none between Tower Bridge and Surrey Docks, even though there are plenty across the river to the west, to the east of Kennington road as well as north of the river,
Local Liberal Democrats, as well as local groups like ‘Why the Gap?’ have long campaigned for this giant gap be filled, as it will ease congestion, promote healthier living and improve air-quality. Calls for connecting Bermondsey to a green infrastructure set-up have risen again recently, as plans for a cycling and pedestrian bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf seem likely to go ahead. While every other council in inner London have agreed to the shared cost of having the docking stations, Labour-run Southwark Council has not.
Following pressure from the Lib Dems, the Labour Council leader Peter John said at the last Council Assembly that they will finally look again at introduced docking stations and close the gap, but since then no further plans have been announced.
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Lib Dem Opposition on Southwark Council said:
"Southwark Liberal Democrats strongly support extending the bike hire scheme to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe and have been calling on the council to make this happen for years. TfL will fund the ongoing maintenance costs and so the council only has to put up the initial capital, which it could secure from developers who are adding to the population but not our infrastructure. Lambeth and Tower Hamlets Councils have managed, Southwark must now follow their lead."