Viewpoint: The City Bike scheme: a game changer in Liverpool?

John Farrell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning. Prior to starting his PhD, he completed the MA Town and Regional Planning in the Planning department at the University.

“For my Masters dissertation, which centred on the barriers to mass cycling in Liverpool, I received a lot of feedback for the City Bike scheme in the city, which celebrated its first anniversary earlier this month.

“There was much optimism in the cycling community of the possible benefits that it would have on the levels of participation in Liverpool, and this buoyancy appears to have been well founded.

“In the one year since the scheme was founded, users have clocked up over 300,000 miles and bikes hired over 55,000 times, an incredible feat for such a young scheme.

The most successful cycle scheme outside London

“Such figures have made it the most successful cycle scheme in the country outside of London, and it is hoped that the popularity of the bikes will further increase over the next year.

“Challenges still exist within Liverpool, with cycling accounting for just 1% of commute traffic in the city. My research found that there are still key barriers to mass cycling being the norm in Liverpool, with lack of infrastructure and safety being cited as deterrents.

“Whilst this is still the case, City Bike can be viewed as a positive first step from the council to promote cycling as a mainstream transport choice.”

2 thoughts on “Viewpoint: The City Bike scheme: a game changer in Liverpool?

  1. Clare Littlewood

    I have just returned for a visit to Copenhagen where I suspect more than 50% of workforce travel via bike( all without helmets I might add)!Having cycled into uni now for 9 months the 2 sets of traffic lights for bikes make a huge difference but our bike lanes are woeful! Either non -existent or so potholed, they are positively dangerous . Oh for the joys of proper bike lanes like Copenhagen or Oxford/ Cambridge in this country. Until then it’s still not going be seen as a safe way to travel
    Clare Littlewood
    CRC building

  2. David Wheatley

    I read your article with great interest.
    I have been signed up with City Bike from the start and use it daily to commute to Central Station and the occasional 20 minute trip to Carnatic. At the start of the session we sponsored 120 student annual registrations each costing just £20 for a years use! We will be analysing the usage shortly. Even with the full student price of £50 (less than a pound a week) for a years unlimited use I think it is still great value. I have noticed a steady increase in take up over the year and I do think this will grow as everyone realises how cheap and easy it can be, as long as you dock in one of the 140 stations within 30 mins.
    I agree that there is a need for more dedicated cycle routes, even road surfaces and consideration from other users especially taxis and buses but I do feel that it is the future of more sustainable and healthy city travel.

    Dave Wheatley
    Green Guild Project Manager

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