FORTH BIKE USERS CIRCLE GLOBE TWICE IN FIRST YEAR
Forth Bike users have clocked up nearly 45,000 miles in the electric bike scheme’s first year – that’s almost twice round the globe!
The cross regional scheme, which spans Forth Valley, will celebrate its first birthday on Sunday 21 June and is offering annual memberships for just £10 this weekend to encourage even more locals to get in the saddle. Free annual memberships are also on offer to all key workers.
Whilst steadily increasing over the past year, Forth Bike usage has sky-rocketed since March with users travelling a whopping 22,000 miles since lockdown began.
Forth Bike Project Officer, Clément McGeown: “The past 3 months have been our busiest period yet, with usage tripling since Covid-19 restrictions started. Many locals are taking advantage of the quieter roads to try out our bikes for the first time and our free membership scheme for key workers has been a huge hit. Nearly 50 keyworkers have signed up for a free annual membership and we’ve had some incredible feedback from them on the benefits of cycling to their mental and physical health.”
First-year cycling stats:
• Nearly 9000 Forth Bike journeys.
• Most used stations: 1. The Helix, 2. Falkirk Wheel, 3. Falkirk High Street, 4. Stenhousemuir and 5. Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
• Majority of users aged 16-35 (55%).
But Forth Bike isn’t the only one celebrating a special lockdown birthday. Bekah Seton from Larbert celebrated her 17th birthday with her first Forth Bike journey.
Bekah’s Mum Louise Seton said: “With Bekah’s first driving lesson cancelled due to lockdown restrictions, we decided to arrange an ‘alternative driving lesson’ for her as a special birthday surprise – her first e-bike ride. Bekah got into the spirit of it and even wore her L plates on her maiden voyage! It was great fun to get out together as a family on the electric bikes. They’ve been a fabulous boost to our mental health.”
Charity Forth Environment Link, which manages the Forth Bike scheme, has also been supporting cycling during lockdown by offering:
• Free memberships of its nextbike scheme for the next 3 months (one year free for key workers) with support from Cycling Scotland.
• Free bike servicing and bike accessories for key workers as part of Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival.
• Exclusive access to its Energy Savings Trust funded e-bike lending library for NHS key workers during the pandemic.
The e-bike lending library has loaned over 70 electric bikes to NHS key workers since the beginning of April, with a further 90 key workers on the waiting list.
GPs at Dollar Health Centre have been using one of the e-bikes for house calls.
Dr Helen Ranfield said: “The bike is stationed at the health centre and we have been using it for home visits. We’ve attached a pannier for PPE and kit and have found it a welcome excuse to get some fresh air in between visits. Several of the staff have had a go and are now talking about saving up for their own electric bikes.”
For further information about bike hire and support contact Forth Environment Link’s Active Travel Hub Coordinators:
Ray Burr at Falkirk Active Travel Hub on Ray@forthenvironmentlink.org
Emily Callan at Stirling Active Travel on EmilyC@forthenvironmentlink.org