Here comes the Nextbike thing
Cash for electric cycle scheme
Six-figure funding has been set aside to create a large-scale electric bike scheme in Stirling – the first of its kind in Scotland.
Forth Environment Link has been awarded £270,000 from Transport Scotland to develop a new cross-city scheme with more than 50 e-bikes.
The announcement was made on Friday morning as the charity were celebrating the third birthday of their bike rental initiative Nextbike.
Since this was introduced the number of journeys made by rental bikes in Stirling has tripled with users clocking up almost 24,000 journeys in the past year compared to around 7000 in its first 12 months.
And this latest announcement will see new bikes add to the existing fleet of 160 pedal cycles to ensure there are enough to match demand in the area.
Five smart screens will also be installed across Forth Valley offering active travel planning advice – with everything from information on cycling and walking routes to tips on bike maintenance.
Stirling Cycle Hub, based at Stirling Train Station, manage the initiative on behalf of Forth Environment Link.
And their manager Graham McQueen said: “Since its launch in 2014 the Nextbike scheme has been hugely popular. We’ve recorded more than 37,000 journeys in total which, for a city the size of Stirling, is incredible.
“Stirling is certainly showing signs of embracing a cycling culture – we’re starting to see a change in mindset.
“We now have more than 2000 active users of the scheme, many of whom have swapped their everyday car or bus journeys for the bike – which is great for their health and the local environment.
“The success of Nextbike, the continued support of Transport Scotland, and the recent infrastructure funding boost from Sustrans, takes us one step closer to Stirling truly becoming a cycling city.”
Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, added: “Stirling’s Nextbike scheme has been incredibly popular and demonstrates how availability and ease of access can rapidly increase cycling rates.
“We’ve directly invested more than £1 million into the Stirling Cycle Hub and its Nextbike initiative since 2013, and this award will ensure the continued success of what has been achieved in Stirling.
“There are so many benefits to our environment and to our health by switching to cycling and other forms of active travel.”
Julien Scriven, managing director of Nextbike UK, says he is proud of the success the scheme has seen since its launch three years ago.
He said: “We are delighted that the people of Stirling have taken bike share to their hearts.
“Over the past three years we’ve seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of users. It’s a proud moment for everyone involved in the success of the Stirling Nextbike scheme. The project has made great strides in improving access to cycling across the city.”