Friday 10 November 2017 14.35 GMT
Twenty five towns and cities in the UK have signed up to bike-sharing schemes, more than double the number of two years ago, amid a surge in popularity across the country.
Once the preserve of London, the growing number of schemes has seen the number of bikes available rise to 25,000.
“There’s a cultural shift taking place,” said Antonia Roberts, director of Bikeplus, an environmental-focused charity which collected the data.
The growing popularity of bike-sharing is driven, in part, by a generation that is less into ownership and more into “service provision”, she added.
In some parts of the country, schemes are now being used to bridge divides with less socially mobile communities, according to the head of Bike4Good – the UK’s first so-called social-equity bike-share project.
“There are significant barriers which prevent more people from accessing bike-sharing,” says Victoria Leiper. “Often they’re financial, language related or simply about a lack of confidence.”
Bike4Good’s flagship scheme is in Glasgow’s Govanhill, an area recognised for its high levels of over-crowding and social deprivation.
To encourage the community of surrounding housing estates to saddle up, the price of annual membership for Nextbike, the city’s bike-share provider, was slashed from £60 to £3. Residents were also offered freephone numbers and cash payment options to get around the need for bank accounts and mobile phones.
It was so successful that subscriptions sold out in a matter of days. Special events such as cycle-in movie nights, group rides and road skill courses also helped break down the social barriers that saw bike schemes as the exclusive preserve of the better off.
A third who signed up said they had never ridden a bike before.