Barclays is to end its sponsorship of the London Mayor Boris Johnson's bike hire scheme around the city, christened as ‘Boris’ Bikes’.
The deal, reportedly worth £50m, began in 2010 and saw bikes placed around London for commuters to use, branded with the bank’s logo.
According to The Guardian, the deal will end in 2015, delivering only half of the promised amount having originally been agreed to run until 2018.
The decision has been made amid a rise in the number of cycling accidents occurring around the city, although Barclays is also apparently widely reviewing its commercial partnerships.
Despite the report, in a statement, Transport for London’s director of commercial development Graeme Craig denied that the sponsorship deal has been pulled.
“After the current sponsorship deal with Barclays ends – in two years' time – the cycle sponsorship portfolio will fundamentally change,” he explained.
"Cycle hire will become part of a much wider and larger cycling sponsorship offer encompassing cycle hire and the major new commitments made in the Mayor's cycling vision - new flagship segregated routes through the heart of London, new Quietway backstreet routes, along with cycle training and potentially other forms of active travel. The cycle hire scheme will be fully integrated with our plans for pay-as-you-go contactless card payments, making it a fully joined up part of the transport system."
In a statement to The Guardian, Craig added: "Barclays remains committed to the sponsorship agreement signed in 2010, but the bank and TfL have decided not to take up the option to extend it. Several months ago Barclays began the process of a strategic review of its sponsorship programmes and has now made a commercial decision not to continue the sponsorship."
Within the first 10 weeks of the initiative being launched in 2013, it was reported that over 1 million journeys had been made on the bikes.