Brompton offers free London bike hire during November train strikes

Brompton Bike Hire at Stratford Docks (Brompton Bike Hire)
Brompton Bike Hire at Stratford Docks (Brompton Bike Hire)

Brompton Bike Hire will offer free bike hires in London over the next period of planned train strikes, from November 5-10.

Train strikes are planned for November 5, 7, and 9, affecting services in London and across the country. “Only travel on national rail services if absolutely necessary,” is Tfl’s guidance for those strike days.

However, Brompton Bike Hire will let you swap the train for a set of wheels, for free.

It offers 48 hours of free bike rental using the code “STRIKE”. Rental normally costs £5 a day. This promo effectively offers £10 of credit for use during the rail-strike period.

There’s no risk of the deal being snapped up by the time you read this, either, as reservations can only be made up to 24 hours in advance.

These reservations are made using the Brompton Bike Hire app, available for Android and iOS. There are around 20 bike docks in and around Central London, typically near train stations. Ealing, Walthamstow Central, King’s Cross, and Shepherd’s Bush are among the more popular spots today, and the app lets you see current bike availability.

Another alternative is Santander Cycles, which charges £1.65 for 30 minutes’ hire on the Pay as You Ride plan, meaning fees will rack up if you don’t use the system as intended, for short journeys.

Brompton Bike Hire’s bikes can be returned to any of the company’s docks at the end of your hire period, although they are much less plentiful than Santander Cycles’s. Some planning is advisable.

Bromptons are folding bikes, and are allowed aboard London buses. But, according to Tfl guidance, the driver may refuse entry if the bus is busy. Buses are likely to be busier than usual during strike days.

To sign up for Brompton Bike Hire, you will need to enter credit/debit card details. It’s a sister company of Brompton Bicycle, maker of the bikes, and the models you will find in the bike docks are mostly “C Line Utility with Mid Handlebar Model”, according to the Brompton Bike Hire website. These sell for up to £1,250 online.