Does Bristol need a cycle share scheme? Apparently this is something that Mayor Marvin Rees is discussing with his transport supremo, Mark Bradshaw. We’ll be wanting to discuss the issue when Bristol Cycling Campaign meets Mark shortly.
There are good arguments that such schemes can be successful, but also much to learn from other cities and studies (here and here). For example, here are some points from a 2015 study from the Centre for Transport & Society at University of the West of England (Bike Sharing: A review of evidence on impacts and processes of implementation and operation)
The growing yet limited evidence base suggests that bike sharing can increase cycling levels but needs complementary pro-cycling measures and wider support to sustainable urban mobility to thrive.
The available evidence on mode substitution is established and consistent: rather than substituting for car journeys, bike sharing is predominantly used instead of walking and public transport.
Perhaps the most significant consideration to be drawn from the all reviewed evidence, on impacts and processes, is that bike sharing benefits from, and is dependent upon, clear political, policy and public support to sustainable mobility and cycling in particular.
Would a bike share scheme help raise the profile of cycling further? Is there a sufficiently clear and well signed cycle network that people want to use? What kind of bikes might be suitable for a city with hills? Is this the best use of limited energy and funding to get more people cycling?
We’d like to hear your views.