Church Street Councillor Barbara Grahame and London Assembly Member, Murad Qureshi have helped TfL stop the growing theft of Santander cycles over recent weeks. TfL have estimated that about 220 Santander bikes have gone missing due to a ‘software glitch’ which has now been sorted out.
Following reports from residents, Councillor Barbara Grahame and Murad Qureshi asked TfL if they knew that local youngsters had found a way to release the Santander bikes and ride them throughout the Church Street neighbourhood and wider afield
TfL took action following the reports from Barbara and Murad and now TfL’s Leon Daniels, Managing Director Surface Transport, has explained what went wrong;
“The software glitch allowed release codes generated by the system for legitimate users to stay live which means anyone else using that number could also release a bike. (Normally it should void immediately after the commencement of the hire).
That hardly is a problem except cumulatively over time quite a lot of release codes are now loitering in the system so the number of combinations of numbers that will release the bikes grows daily. It was spotted and a temporary fix applied which reduced the problem but since this required physical attention at docking stations individually had only limited effect.
The system wide fix was applied late yesterday across the whole network and the issue resolved. There were some 220 bikes unaccounted for but at any one time there are always around 70-80 bikes ‘floating’. (Usually because not docked properly or in someway failing to catch the attention of the system!). These are starting to reappear and we are confident nearly all will become accounted for. In any case any losses whether financial or physical are the responsibility of Serco.
We are having a ‘lessons learned’ session in due course – this ought to have been picked up in testing by the provider but clearly wasn’t.
Thanks for drawing it to my attention – it clearly didn’t take long for some youngers to figure it out”