Free bike-share scheme to launch in Scottish cities

Free bike hire will be provided in Edinburgh and Glasgow from today (June 29) to encourage people to consider cycling for everyday journeys as lockdown is eased. 

Cycling is hoped to play an important role in a green recovery to Covid-19, by providing an alternative to private vehicles and helping to manage demand on public transport as well as benefiting public health and the environment. 

Through Scottish government funding, the cycle share initiative will mean that 1,300 bikes located at nearly 200 bike stations will be available for free hire for the first 30 minutes of every journey in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The project 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 and Serco. 

The free trips will be available to anyone, for any type of journey, and can be used for exercise, shopping and commuting to work. 

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.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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