How are shared bike schemes impacting travel habits? (Picture: Nextbike)

Bike hire schemes reduce car use by 3.7 miles per user each week, according to shared transport charity 

The popularity of bike hire schemes across the UK has reduced the car miles by 3.7 miles per user per week, according to research from a shared transport charity. 

CoMoUK has found that across the 39 sharec cycle schemes in the country, users are opting to ditch the car in favour of more sustainable transport. 

In a survey of 4,000 users, the charity found that more than half (53%) said they would have made their last trip by car or taxi, if a shared bike scheme had not been available. 

Richard Dilks, chief executive of shared transport advocacy charity CoMoUK, said: “The findings of this report have proved that bike share is a catalyst to re-engaging with cycling.

“Bike share supports health and wellbeing, triggers sustainable travel behaviours, cuts car miles and works alongside bike ownership.

“There are many personal benefits of taking up cycling and it’s encouraging to see e-bikes becoming increasingly popular – with no significant age differences between e-bike riders and the whole group, demonstrating their appeal to all generations.

“Ultimately, if we are to achieve our ambitious net zero targets, we need to address the issue of private vehicle ownership, which massively contributes to the UK’s emissions.

“Shared transport such as bike share schemes, along with car clubs, demand responsive transport and e-scooters, alongside public transport, are the key to achieving our goals.” 

Th CoMoUK report found that there were 22,789 shared bikes in operation last year, with an average of 41,599 trips made per day. 

Read more: E-scooter operator Neuron Mobility integrates with Google Maps 

Last year also saw schemes introduced in Cambridge and York, while 21 of the shared 39 hire bike providers now offer e-bikes.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 49% of users said that joining a bike share scheme was a catalyst to them cycling for the first time in at least a year – including 6% who took up cycling for the first time.
  • 53% said they would have made their last trip by car or taxi if bike share had not been available.
  • 34% of those using e-bikes said they were replacing car or taxi trips of more than five miles per week (compared to 24% of non e-bike users)
  • On average, per user, there was an estimated reduction of 3.7 car miles and 1kg of CO2e every week.
  • 20% of respondents said that bike share was the only moderate to vigorous exercise they got on a weekly basis. 

 You can read the full report here. 

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