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Boris Bikes

If you have visited London recently you will have seen lots of people whizzing about on bikes from the Barclays Boris Bike hire scheme.  It’s a great way of getting round London.

But if you aren’t a regular user then you can find it a bit difficult to navigate.

You can hire a bike from bike stands which are situated about every 300 metres around central London.  But these are situated in quite obscure places.  They tend not to be situated right outside stations, perhaps because any stand outside Victoria would run out of bikes very quickly.

But there are four bike stands within a very short walk of Victoria.  The most convenient one for Lewesians is in Eccleston Place, on the way to the coach station. From the arrival platforms for the trains from Lewes turn left about 50 metres after the barrier through the side entrance to the station.  Turn left when you reach the road and then right at the first junction (traffic lights) up Eccleston Street.  Then take the first left into Eccleston Place. The bike rack is on the left.  There is an interactive map of bike stands here

Do download the instructions before you go as there are none on the stands.

You pay £1 for a day’s access to the scheme and the first half hour riding is free.  Fees go up considerably for longer periods of use, but if you put your bike back at another stand within half an hour you pay nothing.  You can then take another bike out for half an hour without a charge.  You can get to a lot of places from Victoria in half an hour, including most other main line stations. So you only need to pay £1 however much you use the scheme in the day.  This is considerably cheaper than tube or bus travel.

You can plan your trip here

Regular users report that the major problem is not finding a bike stand with bikes but finding a bike stand with free bays when you want to dump the bike.  Use the map to find the nearest bike stands to where you want to go before you leave and make sure that you have a couple of choices in case your first is full. If Eccleston Place is full on your return to Victoria, go to Belgrave Road.  Go back to Eccleston Street, turn right and then keep going straight ahead.  The stand is about 150 metres on your left.

You can get mobile phone apps showing bike stands and availability of bikes and spaces.