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#bikethestrike: extra Santander Cycles hubs as Londoners take to two wheels

Santander Cycles lay on extra hubs as tube strikes and clement weather put Londoners on bikes in their thousands

How is the tube strike for you? Don't ask? Or is it business as usual?

With all of London using the city's roads to get around today - apart from journeys by Overground and mainline rail, which are still operational - as the tube strikes rule out subterranean travel, hire bikes are in even greater demand than normal.

Santander Cycles are being stacked on the street like dominos in makeshift hubs where demand is greatest, in a bid to ease pressure on the city's groaning roads.

Meanwhile the #bikethestrike Twitter hashtag has revealed the scale of cycle commuting across Central London, as the London Cycling Campaign offers tips for newbie cycle commuters.

Transport for London have laid on extra cycle hubs at the following locations:

•           Abbey Orchard Street (Victoria)
•           Soho Square (Soho)
•           Houghton Street (Strand)
•           Finsbury Square (Moorgate)
•           Waterloo Place (St James)
•           Chapel Place (Marylebone)
•           Concert Hall Approach (Waterloo)

While existing hubs at Waterloo, Stonecutter Street (near Holborn and the City), Newgate Street (Bank/Cheapside/St Pauls) and Belgrove Street (Kings Cross) will have more cycles than usual.

During the last tube strike less than a month ago, on Thursday 8 July, 73,000 people used the cycle hire scheme - more than double the normal weekday usage of 35,000, and 24,000 more than the previous record set in April 2014.

The Santander Cycles app has seen a spike in downloads to more than 70,000 as desperate commuters search for a ride home.

Those who would normally have crammed into tube trains today are squeezed cheek by jowl on buses, or filling every remaining inch of road on two wheels.

While the Metropolitan Police's Cycle Safety Team have cancelled their other engagements to assist the "larger than normal amount of commuters".

And are nicking some bad drivers while they're at it.

There's a silver lining to the strikes, of course. Evans Cycles is offering free bike check- ups, and the London Cycling Campaign is giving away a prize for the best #bikethestrike photo on Twitter.

London cyclists are also being asked to post their near misses.

While for some people, it's just business (commute) as normal.

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