- Safety issues 5. Transport for hire
- A growing number 6. A month to check
- Mountain biking 7. World popularity
- Price list 8. Some improvement needed
A. More than five thousand bicycles have recently appeared in London. They are available for everyone who wants to ride easily in the centre of the British capital. To take a bike, you need to be registered and get a special key. The system was planned as an addition to the city public transport. The City Council expects people to travel short distances by bike instead of going by bus or car.
B. The first half an hour’s ride is free. An hour’s journey costs a pound. To travel twenty four hours on the same bike will cost you about fifty pounds. On the other hand, it is possible to change your bike every half an hour at one of the three hundred parking stations and ride for free!
C. Before the system had started working, more than eleven thousand Londoners registered for new bikes. The company ‘Transport for London’ announced that they would be testing the system for four weeks. This time was needed to correct any technical difficulties and receive people’s comments. According to a representative of the company, four weeks would be enough to understand how the system worked.
D. The bicycle is an ecologically-friendly means of transport because unlike cars and buses it does not pollute the air. Nevertheless, some members of the Green Party in London spoke against the new system. They called it inconvenient because the bicycles have no locks and big baskets. They also suggested introducing a fixed hire tariff and travel tickets for needy families.
E. The first bicycle public transport system was introduced in Copenhagen in the 1990s. At present, there are similar schemes in a number of cities in Europe and North America. In 2007, the same project was realized in Paris. It still works very successfully, with over twenty thousand bicycles running around the capital of France. The bicycles carry commercial advertisements and can be used for free.
F. Cycling is getting popular not only in countries like the Netherlands or Denmark, where people are traditionally keen on this sport. According to statistics, in 2012 the Italians bought more bicycles than cars. In the same year Spain suggested a plan for a 10-kilometre ‘green zone’ for bicycles in Madrid.
G. In spite of their effectiveness and ease of use, riding a bicycle can be dangerous. So cyclists are strongly recommended to wear helmets and bright clothes during the day and reflective clothes at night. They must not use mobile phones or earphones and they should always ride with their hands on the handlebars. All the cyclists must ride in the same direction as other traffic, stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights just as cars do.