Lancaster University has success with new bike hire scheme

Bike hire on campus

Lancaster University has introduced a new bike hire scheme this term, offering students a low-cost and sustainable way to travel around the campus and the city. The scheme is backed by the University and provided by local refurbished-cycle specialists; I Cycle.

The scheme was launched as a pilot following feedback from students during the Big Bike Sale at the start of the 22/23 academic year, and has so far, been a great success, hiring all the available bikes and exceeding target within just three days of launch. Pitched at just £50 per term, students benefit from a fully refurbished, professionally refurbished bike as well as all the accessories they need to ride safely, including lights, a lock and even a puncture repair kit.

The scheme replaced the Big Bike Sale this year but interestingly, there was no significant drop in bike sales as the hire scheme launched. I Cycle were able to maintain steady sales of bikes alongside the additional hires, demonstrating the demand for affordable and sustainable travel is there.

Dr Georgiana Allison, Head of Sustainability at Lancaster University, said: “We are delighted with the response to the new bike hire scheme, which shows that our students are keen to embrace cycling as a mode of transport. Initiatives like this help to change behaviours, improve health and create social benefits for our community.”

Darren Wilkinson, Sustainability Coordinator who implemented the scheme said: “Having worked with I Cycle over the years; I am thrilled to collaborate with them on this brand-new concept. The hire bikes being pre-loved is an important part of the scheme and is an area that I Cycle have years of experience working in. Not only does this make the scheme affordable, but many of the bikes on hire were previously owned by staff and students here on campus, meaning the bikes themselves are carbon-neutral. The uptake has been fantastic to see and long may it continue.”

The scheme is being trialled for the whole of the 23/24 academic year and is hoped will continue its success beyond that, being scaled up to accommodate the full demand of the scheme. Students who are interested in hiring a bike can find out more on the University’s website.

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