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Read the latest news from across the whole sector that highlights the development of affordable, accessible and low-carbon shared mobility

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News - 27 Oct 2020

Scottish Bespoke Advice Service

CoMoUK offers free bespoke advice, funded by Transport Scotland, to any Scottish organistion interested in establishing a shared transport scheme, or promoting the use of an existing scheme. This advice is available to local authorities, public sector and third sector organisations, community groups and businesses in Scotland. CoMoUK can provide advice and support on:
  • Different operational models for shared schemes including the benefits and limitations of each.
  • The feasibility of a shared car or bike scheme in your local area, including support with developing a business case.
  • Technical advice for setting up a shared transport scheme.
  • Funding opportunities.
  If you are interested in getting more advice or support on shared transport, please contact the Scottish team.

Get in touch!

 

Scottish Micro-Grants 2020

In 2020/21, CoMoUK has funding to offer micro-grants of up to £2,500 to established Scottish community groups who are setting-up new shared transport schemes – either bike share or car share. The aim of the fund is to help facilitate the sharing of the assets, for example the grant can be used for telematics or booking / billing software etc. Click the link below for more information.

Shared transport Micro-Grants

Forums

CoMoUK also holds regular shared transport forums on the different shared transport modes, if you are interested in signing up to a forum, please drop us an email and we can sign you up.
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News - 9 Jul 2020

Shared Transport for Communities: Scottish Micro-Grants 2020

In 2020/21, CoMoUK has funding to offer micro-grants of up to £2,500 to established Scottish community groups setting-up a new shared transport scheme – either bike share or car share. The aim of the fund is to support organisations to set up the sharing of assets. It has been identified there are various funding streams available for cars and bikes, but setting up the sharing element of these is not always included.  

Who can apply?

  • Third sector organisations, social enterprises, and established community groups.
  • An organisation can only apply for one grant.
  • The applicant should be able to demonstrate they are beyond the initial start-up phase of the scheme. For example, they have other funding streams in place to run the scheme.
  • The organisation and new shared transport scheme must be located in Scotland.
 

What can the grant be spent on?

Micro-grants should be used to help facilitate the sharing of assets, this includes, but not limited to, the following examples:
  • Specific equipment to facilitate the sharing aspect of the scheme - for example telematics / back office software for car sharing schemes.

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT

  • Examples for bike share projects include software or equipment that helps with the actual sharing of the project – e.g. subscriptions to smart phone sharing apps.
  • Promotional materials to help brand and advertise the scheme.
CoMoUK will assess applications on a case by case basis, so if your idea isn’t listed above, please contact CoMoUK to discuss your proposal. Where the cost is incurred monthly (i.e. some telematics systems have a monthly fee), CoMoUK will cover the cost for 12 months, up to a maximum £2,500 (including any set up costs).  

What it cannot cover

  • Salaries
  • Overheads
  • Feasibility work
  • Costs for an existing scheme
  • Costs that can be funded via other Transport Scotland funds, i.e. electric vehicles, ebikes, ebike storage etc.
 

Eligibility

Please check the following to ensure you match the eligibility criteria:
  • You are a registered organisation (funds cannot be paid to an individual).
  • Your aims are to establish and promote the use of shared transport in your area.
  • You have a project plan in place for your shared transport project.
  • The project will be launched within 6 months of the grant being awarded.
  • You have a viable business plan for the scheme.
  • The organisation and new scheme are based in Scotland.
 

Application process

To request an application form, please contact Harriet Cross: Harriet@como.org.uk.  

Submission and timescales

This is an ongoing fund and awards will be made on a rolling basis. The last deadline for application will be 30th December 2020. Funds must be committed no later than 31st March 2021. You will be notified within two weeks of us receiving your completed application. If we require more information, we will contact you within this time. we may require more information in that time.  

Reporting requirements

If successful, you will be required to send receipts of expenditure within 8 weeks of receiving the grant. You will also be required to complete and return a short report detailing progress (template will be provided) within 6 months of receiving the fund.
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News - 28 Jun 2020

Free bike share in Scottish cities as lockdown eases

Free bike share will be provided in Edinburgh and Glasgow from today (MON) to encourage people to consider cycling for everyday journeys.

  Through Scottish Government funding, the cycle share initiative comes into effect as more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, easing pressure on public transport and helping those who don’t own a bike or have anywhere to store one. More than 1,300 cycles located at nearly 200 bike stations will be available for free hire in the cities for the first 30-minutes of every journey. Bikes can play an increasingly important role in Scotland’s green recovery by providing an alternative to private car journeys, helping manage demand on public transport, as well as benefiting health and the environment.
  • In Glasgow, the first 30 minutes of standard cycle hire will be at no cost to the hirer for the next eight weeks, and this will be extended to 60 minutes for existing subscribers – with no limit on the number of times the offer can be used.
  • In Edinburgh, the first 30 minutes of bike hire on pedal bikes will be free for the next 14 days. The usual per-minute charge is 10p. Access fees for e-bikes will also be free, although usage will incur the usual per-minute charge. Edinburgh also plans to release a new four-month discounted pass from July 13 to encourage long-term uptake of cycling.
The collaboration is being led by the charity CoMoUK which promotes the use of shared transport, and is funded by Transport Scotland through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme managed by the charity Paths for All. The scheme is in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Transport for Edinburgh, and bike share operators nextbike in Glasgow and Serco in Edinburgh. Glasgow’s cycle hire scheme was launched in 2014, with nextbike currently making 800 bikes for hire across 79 city locations. In Edinburgh, over 500 ‘Just Eat’ bikes are available for hire, with 107 stations across the capital. Both cities have created more cycle lane space in response to the coronavirus pandemic through Scottish Government funding, and bike share operators are undertaking enhanced cleaning regimes, regularly cleaning handlebars and keypads. The free trips will be available to anyone, for any type of journey, and can be used for exercise, shopping and commuting to work. Bikes can be hired on a ‘pay as you go’ basis or by subscription, with registration via app or website. Today marks the next step in Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 route map, with indoor non-office workplaces and street-access retail resuming once relevant guidance is implemented. As more lockdown restrictions are eased, analysis shows that up to 55 per cent of employees could be travelling to their normal workplace, a rise from 30 per cent in full lockdown. That could result in an increase in the number of passengers on public transport by around by a third from current levels of 225,000 per day. Transport Scotland continues to ask people to stay local where possible and to walk, wheel or cycle in order to manage demand on the public transport network and to protect our environment. Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased we can offer free access to bikes in Glasgow and Edinburgh through our support of the Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme. We’ve seen increased rates of cycling and increased use of our public hire bicycle schemes across the lockdown period and this offer will help maintain this shift in travel behaviour at a critical time in our COVID-19 response. “By offering free 30-minute trips, in conjunction with temporary infrastructure in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we can greatly incentivise more sustainable everyday journeys in Phases 2 and 3 of the Scottish Government route map. “For people in our two biggest cities, this initiative will benefit our health, our environment and will help to manage demand on our public transport network.” Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said: “Investment in cycling capacity and infrastructure is vitally important, however we want to make sure that everyone, from all walks of life, can benefit. “As bike share is accessible, affordable and flexible it can play an increasingly important role in Scotland’s green recovery by providing an alternative to private car journeys and helping to ease pressure on public transport.” Councillor Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “This free hire initiative will help to encourage people who perhaps haven’t considered cycling before to give it a try. “Having 30 minutes of free travel every time will let people see for themselves that it’s a convenient, healthy and environmentally positive way to travel around our city centre and neighbourhoods. “We’ve recently seen the popularity of cycling swell, and as lockdown restrictions are relaxed we’re keen to maintain this mode of travel as an attractive, safe, long-term transport choice for everyday journeys.” Councillor Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council transport and environment convener, said:  “We’re delighted to be able to offer free trips on our hire bikes. More and more people are making healthy, sustainable choices about how they travel around our capital city and this substantial offer will make it even easier and more attractive for more people enjoy cycling, including by e-bikes. Use of the cycle hire scheme has leapt in Edinburgh over recent months, along with cycling in general, which is very good news for the city and our residents. “We’re implementing significant changes across the city to help people walk and cycle safely while observing physical distancing. Our additional offer of a discounted four-month bike hire membership will help many more people take advantage of these improvements as we emerge from lockdown.” Ian Findlay CBE, chief officer at Paths for All, said: “Having Scotland’s two largest cities running an initiative like this at the same time is hugely significant and sends a very clear message about the importance of a green recovery. “It’s also the largest public bike hire scheme that our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme has ever supported so we hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this project and realise the many benefits of active travel.” ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS The operators recommend that customers wear gloves when using the bikes, as well as washing hands before and after use. As we ease from the current restrictions in how we work, socialise and access services, work is ongoing to provide a safe transport system to meet the needs of the country. The focus is to ensure Scotland can keep on moving, whilst continuing to supress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Read more at www.transport.gov.scot/TransportTransitionPlan CoMoUK is a charity that promotes the environmental, economic, health and social benefits of shared transport for the public good. More information available here: https://como.org.uk/ More information on Paths for All is available here: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/ Details on Glasgow’s cycle hire scheme available here: www.glasgow.gov.uk/cycling Details on Edinburgh’s cycle hire scheme available here: https://edinburghcyclehire.com/ The discounted pass will be available from the 13th July, with additional information (including pricing) set for release next week. Edinburgh plans to launch the scheme on Monday afternoon at 3pm, and this will be announced over social media channels and via the app.
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Shared Bikes News - 25 Apr 2018

Expansion of successful social inclusion project in Glasgow inspiring refugees and women to cycle

Bikes for All is growing from its roots in Govanhill to work with community organisations city-wide including refugee and homeless charities such as Saheliya and the Night Shelter. The project is offering access to a bike for £3, reducing the price of nextbike annual membership from £60, aiming at boosting people’s health and wellbeing by encouraging those without access to their own bike, or in need of confidence building through road skill and route navigation sessions. The launch was celebrated on 13th April with bike rides and a film screening.
The partnership is a collaboration between Bike for Good, nextbike, Bikeplus, Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Cycling Scotland. The organisations involved are: Red Cross (Chrysalis project), Night Shelter, Govan Community Project, Kinning Park Complex, Central and West Integration Network, Maryhill integration network, Youth Community Support Agency (YCSA), Blue Triangle, Thenue Housing Association, New Gorbals Housing Association, Saheliya, LGBT Mental health and wellbeing. Victoria Leiper, Head of Projects at Bike for Good said “Although the nextbike scheme is incredibly popular in Glasgow, we know that there are significant barriers which prevent more people from accessing it.  These are often financial, language related or due to a lack of confidence to cycle in the city.  This project will attempt to break these barriers down by providing support and guidance to get cycling. Julian Scriven, Managing Director of nextbike UK, commented: “We are delighted with how well the scheme has been received in Glasgow by people from all walks of life. “By offering reduced price memberships and reducing payment barriers, nextbike is demonstrating its commitment to making cycling more accessible to low income and under-represented groups.” Bikes for All is part financed by the European Social Fund and Scottish Government through the Social Innovation Fund.
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Shared Bikes News - 29 Nov 2017

Local Authorities Developing Bike Share Schemes

List of Local Authorities currently seeking Bike Share suppliers

Updated 19.04.18 Bikeplus has collated a list of local authorities currently developing a bike share scheme for their area. The list is designed to support open transparent competitive procurement processes as well as reducing unnecessary approaches to city authorities. Bikeplus encourages all cities interested in a scheme to provide us with their details for this list.  

Name of Authority:- Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole

Status:-tender submissions due by 14th May 2018” Contact  

Name of Authority:- Luton Borough Council

Status:- Open to proposals  until 9th March Login  Contact  

Name of authority: Derry Council and Strabane District Council

Status: ‘Delivery of a Public Bicycle Hire Scheme – TENV18-003’. Contact details: Request tender documents  

Name of authority: Essex Highways

Status: Currently open to proposals. Contact  

Name of authority: Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Status: Currently open to proposals. Contact
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articles - 14 Nov 2017

Bike share: reaching people who could cycle, but don’t

Mobility Matters 11 November 2016 The bicycle is an incredible invention. It’s a social leveller, the second cheapest mode (after walking), leads to healthier people and cuts congestion and emissions. There are also still far more bikes in the world than cars. Rather than being displaced by the internal combustion engine, the humble bike is busy reinventing itself as an increasingly important component of future travel and future lifestyles.  
  Whilst there must be access for those who cannot walk or cycle, active travel has to be top of the list for planning local access. This year has seen the Government publish its Value of Cycling report, and the draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The case for cycling has never been better made.   But cycling is not one uniform activity. There are distinct bike-related cultures in the UK. People riding bikes as utility vehicles and the lycra-clad cycling devotee. From a professional point of view, they seem more like separate species linked at the bike-shaped genus level – maybe cyclum communalis vs cyclum individualis.   How do we reach out to those who might cycle, but don’t? Or those who don’t consider it an option, but could? In short, how do we cultivate the delicate flower that is cyclum communalis or, in transport speak, encourage a modal shift to cycling?   Bike share is an important tool for reaching this group. It consists of mainly public bike hire schemes such as those in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, and also includes bike pools in workplaces or communities and bike hire from rail stations.   A key market for public bike share schemes is people making first or last-mile links with public transport hubs. Many of these people have one or more bikes at home, but they either do not want or can’t use their own bikes for these journeys. This alone probably justifies public bike hire becoming a norm in all urban areas.   Public bike share also reaches a different demographic: people who might cycle but don’t. The most recent research for Transport for London shows that 38% of users were prompted to start cycling by Santander Cycles.   Giving people the option of an electric bike opens access to bikes further. This is not a new idea. Bike share and electric bikes (plus leisure cycling) were all recognised as significant agents in expanding the reach of cycling through the DfT’s Cycle Demonstration Towns, in the latter stages of Cycling England’s work and through the initial results from the Finding New Solutions programme.   Both bike share and electric bikes remove significant known barriers to cycling. Bike share provides access to bikes with no commitment or need for investment or maintenance. Electric-assist bikes ‘iron out’ hills, encourage novice cyclists to give cycling a go, as well as encouraging cycling for longer distances. Whilst these benefits are concrete and obvious, their real value is more subtle and is reflected in the joyful reactions as people try an electric-assist bike for the first time.   The anecdotes are supported by the initial findings of the DfT-funded Shared Electric Bike Programme to be published shortly. In addition, the recent Cycleboom project shows impressive physical and mental health impacts of older people using electric bikes. This highlights an otherwise elusive win; health benefits in a non-traditional cycling user group. In short, people riding electric bikes without having to purchase one were happier and healthier. Scaling this up by making electric bikes available through various bikeshare models would be incredibly simple to do.   A big challenge in “cycling” is in normalising it in the public mind. This requires a change in people’s attitudes to cycling – which we are seeing happening – and then this translating to a shift in individual’s behaviours.   For bike share, it requires planners, policy-makers, advisers, fleet managers and communities to be aware of what’s possible, how to make it work and what the impacts are likely to be. It also requires some re-framing of language and approach – it’s about investing in health benefits, accessibility, social inclusion and reductions in congestion and emissions rather than subsidising a bike hire scheme.  
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Shared Bikes News - 8 Nov 2017

Coalition of bike share operators outline a vision for good working practices

  This letter is from a broad coalition of the main bike share operators with interests in the UK, moderated by Bikeplus 6th November 2017  

Creating Successful Public Bike Share

  Dear All   There have been dramatic changes in the public bike share world in 2017. Opportunities have been opened up due to the arrival of privately financed operators from the Far East and Europe coupled with the development of new technology allowing for greater flexibility. These lead to opportunities for an expansion of bike share in the UK with faster deployment. Furthermore, the option to provide bike share schemes to a city without the need for capital expenditure has brought into question the need for formal tendering processes. Avoiding lengthy expensive procurement is welcomed on all sides but raises the question of what replaces it.   This makes city-scale bike share an affordable, rapidly deliverable part of the solution to key urban policy objectives including air quality improvement, access and accessibility, congestion reduction and health improvement. Bikeplus is as an independent charity working to maximise the benefits of bike share schemes. Bikeplus hosts an Operators and Suppliers Group to facilitate joint initiatives and promote best practice.   With the aim of setting high standards the group has collated a set of recommendations for cities to consider when developing public bike share. These stem from the extensive expertise built by operators dealing with city authorities around the world, moderated and co-ordinated by Bikeplus to provide commercially impartial guidance.  
  The group recommend:
  1. Regulation: The Group strongly recommends there is a need for regulation rather than individual city guidelines. It is suggested that the Bikeplus Accreditation Scheme is adopted as a UK-wide streamlined, consistent standard to inform the selection of operators. The scheme has been developed with extensive consultation with public and private sector bodies and has the advantage compared to Codes of Conduct of providing third-party proactive scrutiny.

Bike share Accreditation Scheme

 
  1. Transparent Competitive Process: Where funding is being offering a tender process will be required, however where a scheme is being privately financed the Group recommends that Cities move from the use of a full tender to a simpler “Request for Proposals” where all operators are invited to outline what they could offer towards a set of requirements to a defined open timetable. Alternatively, a licensing system could be adopted to select who can operate in the area particularly where attracting more than one operator is desirable.
 
  1. Licencing multiple operators:
  • The group recommends the use of licensing where an authority is considering allowing more than one operator;
  • It is recommended that licences should include reference to the need for Bikeplus Accreditation;
  • The group recommends that careful consideration is given to the inclusion of more than two operators in cities of less than 150,000 population or three operators in cities  greater than 150,000 population unless there is a strong differentiation in service;
  • The group recommends that revenue from licensing is ringfenced for reinvestment in cycling initiatives such as supporting social inclusion and safer cycling initiatives;
  • Bikeplus can provide examples of licensing agreements to support cities
 
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Shared Bikes News - 10 Oct 2017

Future of UK Bike Share Conference Presentations

Presentations from the speakers at the Bikeplus 2nd Annual Conference

For copies of the presentations please email info@como.org.uk

Day One   Bikeplus Survey Results 2017 Antonia Roberts, Bikeplus Opening Address from Greater Manchester Councillor Chris Paul, Deputy Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester Address from Chris Boardman Keynote Opening - Is the future shared? Ed Gillespie, Futerra  

      Trends in bike share from North America  Aaron Ritz, NABSA, Better Bike Share Partnership & City of Philadelphia          

   
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