Study shows national impact of UK bike hire schemes

Environmental, mental and physical health benefits have all been identified on a country-wide level.

A new report by Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has shown the extent to which bike hire schemes are positively impacting the United Kingdom, with headline figures pointing to some 3.7 car miles saved per scheme user per week, or 1kg of CO2. 

Research looked at all 39 bike hire schemes across the country, and identified an exponential increase in the popularity of electric bikes, which now appeal to all generations. Overall, 53% of those in the study said they would have made their last journey by car or taxi had there not been an option to rent a bicycle. 

A total of 22,789 bikes were available for hire in the UK last year, facilitating an average total of 41,599 trips each day. More than 4,000 people took part in the survey, with almost half reporting the introduction or availability of bike hire schemes had led them to return to cycling for the first time in over one year, while 6% had taken it up for the very first time. Furthermore, 20% of respondents suggested bike sharing was the only moderate to vigorous exercise they got in an average week. 

‘Ultimately, if we are to achieve our ambitious net zero targets, we need to address the issue of private vehicle ownership, which massively contributes to the UK’s emissions,’ said Richard Dilks, Chief Executive of CoMoUK. ‘Shared transport such as bike share schemes, along with car clubs, demand responsive transport and e-scooters, alongside public transport, are the key to achieving our goals.’

In related news, a 2021 study found cycling is up to ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities in the UK. 

Image credit: Ben Wicks



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