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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 - 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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News - 16 Jun 2020

Public and shared transport, together with walking and cycling, central to a green and inclusive recovery, say charities

As lockdown restrictions begin to be eased, with many people starting to travel again, an alliance of charities and NGOs is highlighting the importance of public, community and shared transport, combined with walking and cycling, to our communities’ recovery, and their health, wellbeing and environment.

  The organisations are underlining that we are at a critical juncture with transport and travel, with a chance to reset transport priorities, putting people’s communities, health and wellbeing, and our environment, at the forefront. With efforts underway across Britain to develop space and facilities for walking and cycling,[1] the group is reminding of the importance of linking these improvements with public, community and shared transport connections, to lock-in longer term benefits for all.   Evidence shows that individuals, families and communities across Britain depend on public, community and shared transport, alongside walking and cycling, for their health, wellbeing and prosperity. A third of people – including many young, marginalised and vulnerable people – don’t have personal access to a car.[2] Reducing private car use is increasingly recognised as fundamental to reducing air pollution and decarbonising for the sake of our climate,[3] with transport now the biggest source of emissions, mostly from cars and vans.[4]   The Department for Transport recently published a report and call for evidence on Decarbonising Transport, with an aspiration to make ‘public transport and active travel… the natural first choice for our daily activities’.[5]   The eight national organisations are highlighting that:
  • Buses, trains, minibuses, trams, shared mobility hubs,[6] and walking and cycling paths and facilities have continued to be crucial through the pandemic, for moving keyworkers and goods, and keeping us well and connected;
  • While social distancing is posing challenges now for transport operators, moving forward, public, community and shared transport, combined with active travel, will be doubly important;
  • A sustainable, inclusive transport network will enable us to reduce private car use and decarbonise transport, to tackle the increasingly urgent climate emergency, and create stronger, healthier, happier communities, with less pollution and more equal access to opportunity.
  Richard Dilks, Chief Executive, CoMoUK, says: “We are asking local, regional, devolved and national governments, and our partners within transport and within communities, to work with us, to make this a reality. We are at a critical point: now is the time to ensure we have our transport priorities right, based on health and wellbeing, our communities and environment, and ensure we take the sustainable and inclusive path forward.”   Darren Shirley, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Together, our organisations are offering support and expertise, to work with governments and authorities, partners and communities, to forge a more sustainable and inclusive transport future.”   Claire Walters, Chief Executive, Bus Users UK, said: “Public, community and shared transport, alongside and connected with walking and cycling, must be safeguarded, celebrated and developed, to ensure everyone can access sustainable mobility in the future. Evidence shows that this is crucial, for health and wellbeing, community cohesion and resilience, our climate and sustainable development – and for creating the future we all want.”   Jools Townsend, Chief Executive, Community Rail Network, said: “Our organisations are working together to support and empower communities, and advise transport partners and authorities, on Covid-19 recovery and the vital role transport has to play. We want to help pave the way to achieving climate-safe, healthy, inclusive transport for all, which is more important now than ever.”   Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets, said: “This is about recognising the huge benefits for our communities, our local places and global environments, of reducing private car use, and enabling everyone to get around by healthy, community-minded and environmentally-responsible means. We have a major opportunity at the moment to connect up improvements to walking and cycling with public, shared and community transport, and great gains to be made from this.”   Notes to editors:   The eight organisations collaborating as part of a sustainable and inclusive travel alliance are: Bus Users UK,  Campaign for Better Transport, CoMoUK, Community Rail Network, Community Transport Association, Greener Journeys, Living Streets, Sustrans.   Their joint position statement can be found in full here.     For media enquiries, comments and interviews, contact Kathryn Shaw at Living Streets on kathryn.shaw@livingstreets.org.uk / 07545 209865.
  1. Department for Transport, 2020, ‘£2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking’
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking
  1. NatCen and University of West England, 2019, Access to transport and life opportunities https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831766/access_to_transport_report.pdf
  2. For example, see House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, 2019, Clean Growth, https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news-parliament-2017/clean-growth-report-published-17-19/
  3. Department for Transport, 2020, Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878642/decarbonising-transport-setting-the-challenge.pdf.
  4. ibid
  5. For information on mobility hubs, see https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Mobility-Hub-Guide-241019-final.pdf

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News - 13 Jun 2020

Lets hear it for e-scooters

Read Richard Dilks latest Local Transport Today article.       [embeddoc url="https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LTT800-June2020.pdf" download="all"]
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News - 4 May 2020

How can Planning support modal shift in new housing development in Scotland

Read our own Marian discussing the benefits of shared transport in new housing developments in Scotland. [embeddoc url="https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Scottish-Planner-Marian.pdf" download="all"]
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News - 28 Apr 2020

CoMoUK Response to Scottish Covid-19 Committee

We have written to the Scottish Parliament’s new Covid-19 Committee detailing what the shared transport sector is doing to help key workers leading the fight against coronavirus, and highlighted the potential role the sector can play in retaining and enhancing some of the environmental gains that we’ve seen as a result of the lockdown. You can read the full text of the letter below.
[embeddoc url="https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Covid-19-Committee-Letter-FINAL69317.pdf" download="all"]
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News - 6 Apr 2020

Shared Mobility helps in Coronavirus Crisis

UPDATE 27.08.20:  This page outlines the amazing response from Shared Mobility operators to support key workers at the height of the pandemic. The sector acted incredibly fast to ensure cars and bikes were available to staff as they needed them for little or no cost. Latest positions of offers are added below alongside the original offers for the record.

  April 2020: We are in uncharted waters as a country.  During this crisis, CoMoUK is engaging with the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments to stress the societal and climate crisis benefits that shared transport brings and the unprecedented impact this will have on the sector. Shared mobility providers are responding to the crisis by providing essential transport services for NHS, care workers and food delivery services. Here are the examples we are aware of so far:  

Car share

  Enterprise Car Club until 3rd August offered FREE membership & up to 45% off hourly rental rates* to personnel across the NHS, Emergency Services, NHS Volunteers, Armed Forces as well as any other key workers. This saves these essential employees up to £60 when they join and an average across the vehicle classes of £3.14/hour and £19.90/day”   Read more here.   Co-wheels Car Club is offering all NHS care staff such as doctors, nurses and paramedics, plus NHS Volunteers and all front line carers, such as home helps and staff in care homes, 50% off bookings. Read more here.    Zipcar worked with all NHS trusts to give all NHS staff up to 50% off journeys with Zipcar. Read more here   Ubeeqo provided vehicles to councils and other organisations delivering essential services for a range of tasks, including for prescription deliveries, non-urgent patient transfers and food-bank deliveries. To support further, Ubeeqo offered up to 50% off the standard contract rate for organisations delivering essential services as part of the fight against Coronavirus. Read more here.   hiyacar offered NHS staff free car hire on their platform during Aoril, May and June and are continuing to work to support staff with discounted access.  Read more here.    Karshare - is checking, cleaning and fully insuring vehicles for health professionals and the voluntary sector to use for FREE - as of 1st July a daily insurance charge has been added.  Read more here     Arnold Clark has made available over 500 hire vehicles free of charge to NHS and frontline emergency personnel, and provided access to over 120 nine-seater minibuses. They have also provided over £20,000 worth of parts to the emergency services and are donating over 20,000 disposable seat covers to care workers in local communities, as well as supplying all their available PPE including face masks and goggles to hospitals throughout the UK.  Read MORe here   and further updates here 

Ride share

  Liftshare put together a special team dedicated to supporting vital services such as the NHS. Read more here  

Bike share

Some bike share schemes took the difficult decision with local authorities to close during the outbreak however where there was sufficient staff to manage the extra cleaning regime bikes were prioritised for key workers. All schemes are re-opened now with extra cleaning being carried out.   Transport for London's Santander Cycle Hire scheme offered free membership for NHS staff. Read more here.   Nextbike have a Covid-19 website they are keeping updated which shares their cleaning regimes and the free memberships they are providing to essential workers across their schemes. Read more here:    Freebike distributed bikes to Hospitals in London to use as free and safe transport until the end of July. They facilitated over 75,000 miles of free travel for NHS workers. Read more here.    Beryl Bikes made all of their bikes across the country free to use for NHS staff. They log in using a valid nhs email address. In London they have made bikes available for free long term personal hire for any Key worker by emailing at support@beryl.cc and Read more here.   Brompton Bike Hire crowdfunded to provider free folding bikes to NHS workers. Read more here and here.   Jumpbike offered free rides to NHS workers to help them get to and from work as quickly and safely as possible. Read more here.   BTNBikeshare, Brighton, offered free annual memberships for NHS staff in Brighton & Hove. There is a dedicated bike cleaning team, safety information on the website and information hubs, plus a number of virtual geofenced hubs to assist NHS staff journeys specifically.
 

On-Demand Bus Transport

  Zeelo offered safe bus transport service for critical workers including on board social distancing; deploying nationwide within 24 hours. The service has now been adopted by Ocado, Avara Foods, Argos, Matches, Colgate and Amazon with more to come (including hospitals).   Read more here  

Community Schemes

  South Ayrshire Community Transport offered their vehicles and driver to help in the community for food deliveries, and local cancer charities transporting patients under social distancing rules.  
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News - 30 Mar 2020

Life After Covid-19

Read Richard Dilks latest Local Transport Today article.

LIFE AFTER COVID-19


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