National body for bike sharing goes live as share trips surpass 10 million in 2015

bikeshareHaving recently signed up to the Cycling Industry Club, BikePlus – a new representative body for bike share schemes in the UK – has today gone live.

The organisation, which is a sister to car club data collector CarPlus, has been working in the background, launching a scheme in Eastbourne. With nationwide hire figures topping 10 million in 2015, the body is now ready to get to work on making use of the data collected with those hires.

Benefits of bike share schemes are already emerging – including attracting new cyclists (TFL: 49% of London users hadn’t cycled previously), reducing cyclist injuries in areas with bike share schemes (Graves et al 2014) and a positive impact on local businesses (Buehler and Hamre 2014) – as well as a reduction in car use.

Antonia Roberts, Bikeplus Manager, said: “Bike share schemes have been shown to improve urban mobility – reducing congestion and improving air quality, helping take pressure off over-crowded public transport routes and giving the travelling public a healthy, flexible way to get around.

“We’re seeing increased interest in towns and cities outside London following the great success of Santander Cycles. Local authorities want impartial advice about how to set up schemes so that they will be successful and maximise the benefits that bike share can bring.”

BikePlus’s role in the business is to quantify the results achieved through such schemes, collecting data from the industry in order to monitor usage and identify what makes a scheme successful. As part of it’s Cycling Industry Club membership, that analysis will be shared with European neighbours in order to further grow cycling levels in the EU.

“I strongly believe that there is a real role for an independent, fact driven organisation that can be seen to provide best practice and practical advice to local authorities,” said Tim Caswell, managing director at Hour Bike.

Bikeplus is supported by local authorities, bike share operators including Serco, Nextbike and Hour Bike, and leading academics.

  • There are 16 UK towns with bike share schemes in operation, with 13,000 bikes in use. 10,000 of those are found in London, with a further 1,000 at train stations, says the organisation.

It is expected that electric hire bikes will soon roll out in the UK (and beyond), with London currently out to tender for a supplier.