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Dockless bike hire comes to Southwark

Southwark has become the first council south of the river to become home to on-demand bike hire after Mobike and ofo launched this week.

Both Mobike and ofo are starting out with 200 bikes each in the borough, but this will gradually increase if the scheme proves successful.

The scheme will initially focus on Rotherhithe and Camberwell, and launched on Monday, March 12.

The bikes can be located and rented through their respective apps, which provide access to unlock the bikes.

When cyclists reach their destination they can use the app to find guidance about where to leave the bike and lock it up ready for the next user.

Cllr Ian Wingfield, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for environment and the public realm, was joined by representatives from Southwark Cyclists, Transport for London and the Met Police Cycling Road Safety Unit for the launch in Canada Water Square.

“I am really pleased to be bringing on-demand bike hire to the whole of Southwark,” he said. “Mobike and ofo are experts in their field and they are committed to working with us to promote responsible and safe cycling, including the parking of their bikes.

“Many residents have been very clear that this is something that they would welcome and we hope the bikes will help encourage people to give cycling a try and get out and explore the whole of Southwark.”


To use the Mobike service, users simply need to download the Mobike app, register, and scan the QR code on the bike to unlock it.

To complete their ride, users can park the bike anywhere regular bike parking is allowed near their destination and manually close the lock on the bike.

Mobike’s deposit is currently capped at £1 and users are then charged 50p per 30 minutes. ofo’s bikes are hired through a smartphone app for 50p for 30 minutes, with a maximum daily cap of £5, and can be picked up and dropped off anywhere that bike parking is allowed. ofo does not require riders to pay a deposit before use.

To access a bike, riders can simply download the ofo app and unlock their nearest bike via Bluetooth connection. Once their ride is complete, users simply close the lock to complete their ride and make it available for the next person to use.


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