Shepherd's Bush blogger Chris Underwood has a story on the failure and cancellation of the "guided cycle tours" that TfL offered in Hammersmith and Fulham in June.
Caroline Pidgeon: Can you give an outline of how the publicity strategy differed to last year’s, in light of the low participation rate last year?
Boris Johnson: Between last year and this year the approach differs in the following ways:
Link to existing cycle programmes: Cycle Fridays was a standalone initiative, marketed via an advertising campaign. This year, rides are being offered as a support product to help individuals take advantage of existing cycling programmes including the London Cycle Challenge and Barclay’s Cycle Superhighways. The publicity for the rides is incorporated into existing programme channels; the only cost incurred is for the rides themselves.
Create a flexible programme, which responds to demand: Last year the number of rides publicised were fixed, but this year TfL is closely monitoring participation in the rides.
Roll out the rides in short bursts: Last year TfL publicised a block of rides for 10 weeks and participation dropped off over time. This year, each set of rides will last no longer than five weeks before a break. If a particular programme is not generating sufficient demand, the remaining rides can be scaled back or cancelled.
Change the name: Awareness of Cycle Fridays was relatively high; however understanding of what was on offer was lower. To make this clear, TfL changed the name to ‘Guided Cycle Rides’.