Quality assurance standard introduced for rapidly growing bike share market

BikePlus has today announced a national Bike Share Accreditation standard, set to be used to help local authorities benchmark on quality before inviting the tender process.

Bike share in the UK is evolving rapidly with established schemes in 17 towns and cities. Further schemes are in development and new operators are aiming to enter the market in the coming year. It is with this domestic expansion in mind that BikePlus has seen the importance in driving up standards and best practice implementation methods.

NextBike and HourBike are two suppliers early to get accredited, with the former currently operating schemes worldwide with its largest UK scheme in Glasgow set to double in size this year. Other cities with Nextbike operations include Bath, Stirling and Milton Keynes.

Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Nextbike UK said of the scheme: “Nextbike are committed to delivering high quality bike share schemes that are sustainable in every way. The Bikeplus accreditation will help Local Authorities and sponsors identify organisations who  can be relied on to create schemes that will benefit their communities. I believe this will lead to improved schemes, streamlining of the procurement process and further development of the sector’s safety and business standards.”

Meanwhile, Hourbike currently operates multiple bike share schemes in the UK, the largest in Liverpool with 1,000 bikes and the newest to open in Brighton with 50 stations this summer.

Not everyone is enthused by the launch of the scheme, however. One operator of hire we spoke to said: “This feels like another tax to us, and purely aimed at getting money from the big companies with large backing.”

Bikeplus accreditation is now open to applications from established operators, whilst provisional accreditation is also available for prospective companies entering the market.

The accreditation forms part of the membership package available to operators and suppliers who currently run or wish to run public bike share schemes in the UK. It will short cut the procurement process for local authorities launching schemes.

You can read more on the process here.

Bike share in the UK

  • Total number of bikes: 17,354
  • Docking stations: 1,164
  • Users: 138,802 users (unique members & casual users)
  • Total trips in 2015: 10,456,425