Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

MIRACLES Report Summary

Project ID: 11953
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: United Kingdom

Improving cycling though a bicycle loan scheme

Objective
- To increase public acceptance of cycling.
- To stimulate the use of sustainable transport by residents and tourists.

Rationale
Before the MIRACLES project efforts were already being made to increase the level of cycling in Winchester, in terms of modal split and number of journeys being made by bicycle. The County Council had been working with Winchester Cycle Forum to expand the Winchester Cycle Network and ensure re-allocation of road space to cyclists and pedestrians. MIRACLES aimed to build on this work.

The major initiative within this measure is the demonstration of an innovative Bikeabout scheme, supported by continuing improvements to the cycle network throughout the city.

Description of the implementation
The Bikeabout scheme offers members of the public free loan of bicycles. Users pay a one-off registration fee of £15 and can then borrow a bicycle as often as they like, at no additional charge, for up to 24 hours at a time.

The scheme was piloted early in 2004 at the University of Winchester (UoW), and was officially launched at Bike Week in June 2004.

Bikeabout currently operates from four locations, the original pilot site at UoW, a site close to the railway station and, as a result of consumer demand, additional nodes at St Catherine s Park and Ride and Winchester Tourist Information Centre were introduced in 2005. Offering a service to commuters, local residents and visitors. Fifty, MIRACLES branded, Pashley Pronto bicycles are distributed between the sites. During full operational service, two full-time operators are employed, six days a week, to oversee the running of the railway station compound where the bikes are maintained. Operational hours are reduced for the Winter, reflecting the decrease in consumer demand due to environmental conditions.

Membership has been steadily growing since May 2004, there are now around 250 members.

To compliment the Bikeabout scheme, improvements have been made to cycle infrastructure and information. Over 200 secure cycle stands have been installed throughout the city centre. Where possible signing has also been improved to indicate safe routes linking various public transport terminals, leisure sites, large employers and educational establishments. A pocket cycle map was produced and distributed via information centres, community forums, at sustainable transport events and through the Bikeabout scheme itself.

Key findings
Bikeabout users are fairly evenly split in terms of age, gender and journey purpose.
83% of scheme members rated the scheme as generally good or very good.
Travel diaries indicated the average trip length was 2.7 miles (4.3 km) with 57% of the journeys being round trips. At peak times almost all of the bicycles were being used at any one time. 38% of the public were aware of the Bikeabout scheme and 66% generally agreed with it. 28% of members stated that they did not have access to another bicycle. Cycle parking surveys showed the peak number of cycles parking in Winchester increased by 46% during 2002-2005.

This demonstrates that the potential benefits of the Bikeabout scheme are being realised, with some evidence that members are switching from travelling by car to Bikeabout bicycle.

Reported by

Highways and Transport Policy
SO23 8UD Winchester
United Kingdom
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