UK bike hire schemes remove 3.7 car miles per user every week

The growing popularity of bike share schemes across the UK has reduced car mileage for each user by an estimated 3.7 miles every week.

Collaborative Mobility UK has revealed how the country’s 39 schemes are attracting more people back to cycling, delivering mental and physical health benefits, and helping the environment.

The study has also found that electric bikes (e-bikes) are soaring in popularity because they reduce journey times and help riders to tackle hills – with the bikes now appealing to all generations. More than half of users (53 per cent) said they would have made their last trip by car or taxi if bike share had not been available.

The results have been published in the sixth annual bike share report from national shared transport charity CoMoUK, which reveals there were 22,789 bikes in operation last year and 41,599 average trips made each day. With 39 schemes established, new sites introduced in 2021 included Cambridge and York, while 21 locations now have e-bikes – including 12 which are solely for electric cycles.

CoMoUK said the findings prove that bike share schemes are a key tool in the UK’s journey to net zero and can help improve the country’s physical health and mental well-being.
Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, said: “The findings of this report have proved that bike share is a catalyst to re-engaging with cycling. Bike share supports health and well-being, triggers sustainable travel behaviours, cuts car miles and works alongside bike ownership.

“There are many personal benefits of taking up cycling and it’s encouraging to see e-bikes becoming increasingly popular – with no significant age differences between e-bike riders and the whole group, demonstrating their appeal to all generations.

“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. 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.”

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