A NATIONWIDE STUDY has found an increase in the range and number of bike schemes available since 2018
The report commissioned by Scotland’s cycling organisation identified more than 200 projects that would make it easier for people to access or own a bike
The “Access to Bike Schemes in Scotland” report was undertaken by sustainable transport expert Transform Consulting.
It included schemes providing bikes to key workers, refugees, people with disabilities and those recovering from ill-health.
But low-paid, self-employed and non-working adults are less well-served than salaried workers.
Most schemes have launched within the past three years – due to the increase in funding by the Scottish Government for projects to enable cycling, walking and wheeling – to tackle the transport poverty, the report suggests.
The report highlights the diversity of schemes tailored to local needs, which include pool bike fleets, bike loans for events, public bike hire, adaptive bikes, cycle to work and bike recycling schemes.
It recommends a multi-year funding to give bike scheme organisations financial security and help long-term planning, increase access to bikes for adults, self-employed, low paid or not working.
And set clear objectives for the scheme in line with the framework and consider collecting national data on bike recycling and re-use in Scotland for the first time.
Kath Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland, said: “This report shows that access to bikes has increased since 2018. It’s really positive to see such a broad range of organisations getting involved in supporting cycling for everyone, and its key role in improving health and combating climate change. And the depth and breadth of current schemes shows there’s demand for further increasing access to bikes.
“But more action is needed at a national and local level to ensure cycling is accessible and affordable for everyone, helping us to create a fairer, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable Scotland.”
Elspeth Wray, Enterprise Manager at Transform Consulting, said: “It’s heartening to learn about all the groups up and down Scotland who want to share their love of bikes with others.
“Our research reveals that there’s a huge diversity of bike schemes out there, from small community-run volunteer projects to national programmes with the potential to reach millions of people.
“Cycling has so many benefits – it’s better for the environment, it keeps you fit and gets you out in the fresh air. We found that many organisations are keen to secure long-term funding and expand their bike access schemes, so that even more people get the chance to get on a bike and fall in love with cycling.”