Citybike scheme recognised nationally

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Liverpool Citybike scheme

One of Liverpool’s Citybike stations. Pic by Michael Glynn/JMU Journalism

Liverpool City Council’s Citybike scheme has won the best shared mobility honour at the inaugural Smarter Travel Awards held in Birmingham.

They beat similar bike rental schemes in Bath and Linlithgow to the award and Karen Stevens, Liverpool City Council’s cycling officer told JMU Journalism just how impressive the Merseyside scheme has proved on a national level. She said: “It recognises that the scheme has had an immediate positive response from Liverpool’s residents, as well as many tourists in the city.

“Liverpool’s scheme is the biggest in the country outside of London. This enables the scheme to be delivered across the city, and to provide a density of bike stations to make the scheme a viable, practical mode of transport.  Rental costs compare favourably with other modes, with just a £3 daily rate.”

Encouraging cycling is also seen as a way of keeping people fit and active as the public favours exercise over using cars or other public transport to get around the city.

Mrs Stevens was keen to express how important the health aspect is to the scheme, as well as the practical reasons. She said: “The scheme is already making a positive contribution towards encouraging active travel as part of daily lifestyles.

“While cycling levels in Liverpool remain low, monitoring in Merseyside has shown a year on year increase in recorded cycle trips since 2006-7. As Citybike is very visible and available 24/7, it is providing a way for people to give cycling a try if they’ve not been on a bike for a while.”

In the first nine months of the scheme there have been over 32,500 rentals, 10,000 paying subscribers and 6,000 unique users. Citybike currently has around 120 stations which will increase to around 160 by the end of March 2015.

About Michael Glynn, JMU Journalism