In 2017 we were contracted by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to design, develop and operate a bike scheme to increase cycling participation within East Sussex as part of a wider Department for Transport funded programme called Active Access for Growth.
We were conscious of the fact that cycling participation within East Sussex was at a very low level of around 2-3% of journeys, and that although the majority of journeys made were less than 5km the challenging topography and older population demographic found in East Sussex did not lend itself naturally to cycling.
We developed a bike loan scheme (Pedal Power) that aimed to break down those barriers, where residents of East Sussex could loan one of a selection of good quality bikes for a period of up to 6 months for a small and affordable monthly fee. We knew that in overcoming many of the barriers to cycling that e-bikes would need to feature heavily in the offer, alongside regular pedal bikes. A free delivery, maintenance and collection service was also provided to users to break down further barriers to accessing the scheme across the County. To support and promote the scheme we also developed the www.EastSussexPedalPower.com website which in addition to providing information also allowed for on-line sign up to the scheme and data collection. We also used targeted social media to attract potential users. The aim also was to create sustainable model that could continue beyond the initial funding period.
To date over 500 people have participated in the Pedal Power scheme and the programme has been heralded as the most successful bike scheme run in the County and is now operating as a self-funded project. In addition to helping people access employment and training, the Pedal Power scheme has also achieved these highlights:
The Forward Motion Bike Loan Scheme is the programme we operate for South Essex Active Travel (SEAT). Based on the same model as the Pedal Power Scheme it has been achieving very similar result and impacts.
”"Active Cycling Projects provide an efficient friendly service that creates real behaviour change. We have had nothing but good feedback from those using this service that gives riders an opportunity to try before they buy or try cycling to work for a month or more. Our project, www.forwardmotionsouthessex.co.uk is spread across three authorities and there have been no issues in providing this service across such a large area, I would fully recommend Active Cycling Projects."Collette KempWalking & Cycling Development Manager, Southend Council
Urban Bike Loan Scheme
In partnership with the London Cycling Campaign, we developed a fully managed Bike Loan Scheme for London Boroughs with the objective of encouraging adults to try out cycling and to discover how it might fit into their lifestyles. The scheme offered the use of a bike and safety equipment for a period of 4 weeks and was supported by access to free cycle confidence training for those wishing to develop their cycling skills.
The programme operated using a regular event-based model, with bike collections and returns happening on a regular basis at selected venues. Our teams were on hand to help and assist individuals in becoming familiar with the bikes and providing related information.
The programme was quickly adopted by many of the London Boroughs and to date over 10,000 people have participated in the scheme.
Data collection was key to identifying and monitoring behaviour with users completing base line surveys, weekly cycle diaries, and end surveys. The results gained were very consistent across the Boroughs that signed up and took advantage of the scheme. Below are some highlights of the impacts and outcomes of the scheme.
”“We have been delighted with the relationship with team and results gained through the Lewisham’s Bike Loan Scheme. It has been the most popular and beneficial cycling programme we have supported and has been our flagship scheme for the last 6years”Liz Brooker, MBELondon Borough of Lewisham
”“The guys have been fantastic and the results amazing. It has been a great scheme helping to increase cycling, improve heath and reduce emissions in the borough.”Suzie HarrisonLondon Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Lambeth Pool Bikes
The London Borough of Lambeth has a good reputation for promoting cycling within its borough and like many employers has its own pool bikes for employees to use. Also like many employers the bikes were under-utilised and difficult to access due to lengthy drawn-out procedures to book a bike and then obtain a key for the lock. Often bikes came back with faults which didn’t get reported and there was a lack of accountability and control within the system. Keys regularly went missing and bikes even lost or stolen.
Lambeth approached us wanting to improve the efficiency, utilisation and accountability of their pool bike system. They wanted to keep their existing mixed fleet of bikes which included Brompton bikes in lockers, cargo bikes, electric bikes and standard pedal bikes, and ensure bikes were only used by those authorised to do so.
Using our App-Bike locking and rental system we were able to retrofit all their bikes with our electronic locks and provide them with a closed access system so that only authorised users can use the bikes. Once authorised and registered a user can book a bike in advance and then unlock it with our App-Bike app. No need for signing out keys, and through our system dashboard we can see exactly who has each bike and for how long. Bike faults are easily reported in the app also, allowing bikes to be taken out of service until repaired. Maintenance contractors have access to our operator functions allowing them to access bikes scheduled for repair.
Go-Ebike SEStran & ComoUK
The South East of Scotland Transport Partnership has launched its regional e-bike program GO e-Bike with the aim of increasing usage and awareness of power-assisted cycling across the South East of Scotland and beyond. Sestrans/ ComoUK contracted Active Cycling Projects to provide our App-Bike System to enable the smooth and effective operation of their projects. GO e-Bikes launched with 5 different projects in St. Andrew’s, Buckhaven, West Lothian and Falkirk and also encouraged employers to get involved with a ‘Try a GO e-Bike Roadshow’. This was only made possible due to the flexibility and adaptability of our App-Bike System and support. GO e-Bike aimed to promote a healthier more active population, reduce inequalities in communities and improve our environment.
Through its Programme for Government 2017/18, the Scottish Government is ‘stepping up promotion of the use of electric bicycles to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from active travel’. SEStran is helping to deliver on this vision with support from European programme funding by SHARE-North, Interreg North Sea Region.
With the successful launch of the first 5 projects, SEStran will be working over the next 18 months with other potential partners to increase the GO e-Bike footprint delivering more hubs across the South East of Scotland and encouraging more people to get on their GO e-Bike!