In 2021, Cyclehoop was contracted by the London Borough of Hackney to provide seventy-one Mobility Corrals to accompany a new dockless bike hire scheme. The aim of the project was to offer residents a new, environmentally friendly transport option and support the goal set in the Hackney Transport Strategy 2015-2025 Cycling Plan:
“To make Hackney’s roads the most attractive and safest roads for cycling in the UK, and a place where it is second nature for everyone to cycle, no matter what their age, background or ethnicity”
Building on experience from previous schemes, Hackney sought to mitigate the negative aspects of the dockless model – namely the uncontrolled parking of bikes – using quick and cost effective infrastructure. With integrated signage, a configurable modular construction and a rapid deployment process, the Cyclehoop Mobility Corral was the ideal solution.
Dockless cycle hire schemes have seen huge increases in size and popularity since appearing on London streets in 2017. The schemes operate via smart phone apps, allowing users to locate and hire bikes in their vicinity. In the absence of docking stations, users are free to deposit their bikes at a location convenient to their journey. The operating area of dockless bikes is instead controlled via ‘geofencing’; bikes are tracked with GPS, users are warned when they are approaching a boundary, and are discouraged from taking the bike further with loss of functionality or penalty fares.
A user unlocks a dockless hire bike from a corral near London Fields station; a location that helps connect rail and cycle journeys.
Early schemes faced criticism, as bikes were often parked inconsiderately, posing a hazard to pedestrians and other road users. In 2018, Transport for London published the Dockless bike share code of practice as a guideline for scheme operators, this includes mandates for safe parking:
Dockless bike share schemes must not cause obstructions or danger and must not restrict or affect the use or enjoyment of footways or other public spaces in London. Safe and effective parking guidelines are essential to ensuring the schemes work for all Londoners.
To encourage responsible parking, the borough opted to create designated parking areas for both the end-user and the scheme operator. The Mobility Corral offers clear advantages over simple road-marked boundaries and built-out parking options. When installed on the carriageway, it creates a physical barrier to separate dockless bikes from other road users, helping prevent damage from falls or vehicle strikes. The enclosure encourages neat, ordered parking for a tidy streetscape. High level signage makes the corrals visible to users from a distance. Signage can also be customised with branding and instructions. The modular construction and minimal ground fixings allow corrals to be relocated, expanded or reconfigured to meet changes in demand.
Seventy-one locations comprising of commercial centres, transport hubs, leisure facilities and residential areas were chosen, with installation beginning in September 2021.
A map of Mobility Corral Locations across the borough
The bikes must be parked in new dockless bays, which are available for everyone to use, to help keep our pavements accessible for those with visual and mobility impairments.
– Cllr Mete Coban MBE, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
The scheme proved a success, with Hackney quickly becoming one of London’s highest usage boroughs. Lime reported a 117% increase in dockless bike and scooter trips in London between January and July 2022, a trend sure to continue as popularity grows. The Council also expects to expand the dockless bike bays to increase the visibility and compliance of the scheme.
At Cyclehoop, we’re excited to explore new developments in urban transportation. The Lime dockless bike scheme showcases how new technology and infrastructure can be deployed quickly, offering residents an alternative to private vehicle use. We’re proud to offer the Mobility Corral as a key component in a new transport ecosystem. For more information on how the Mobility Corral can feature in your active travel or streetscape project, contact our friendly sales team.
Dockless hire bikes help our residents make sustainable transport choices. The Mobility Corrals are an essential part of the scheme, keeping the streetscape tidier and safer for all users.
Rebecca Howarth Senior Transport Planner - Hackney Council