CoMoUK has revealed the results of its fifth annual bike share report.
In CoMoUK's Bike Share Users survey 2020, 55% of bike share users said that bike share was their catalyst to start cycling again after an absence of at least a year – up from 44% last year. Nearly a third (29%) of respondents said they had not ridden a bike for five years or more.
More than half of respondents (55%) said they had noticed specific improvements to their physical health since signing up, while 32% reported mental health benefits as the reason why they chose to use bike share schemes.
For 29% of respondents to the survey, bike share provided an alternative to public transport during the coronavirus pandemic, whereas a third of respondents (33%) reported they are using their car less, while 29% said bike-sharing had directly replaced journeys made by car or taxi.
CoMoUK said the results were similar north and south of the Scottish border, with 59% of respondents to its Scotland Bike Share Users Survey 2020, stating that bike share was their catalyst to start cycling again, 66% reported exercise and physical health benefits from using a bike share scheme, 41% reported mental health benefits and 29% reported using bike share as an alternative to public transport as a result of Covid-19.
The company said it instigated a range of promotions in 2020, that offered free trips and discounted passes for users in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The promotions were funded by Transport Scotland via the Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund, administered by Paths for All.
According to the research, the Glasgow scheme saw an 88% uplift in new users and a 64% increase in Edinburgh over the periods June to September, after the initial lockdown period was over.
The research follows as latest figures from Cycling Scotland revealed that the number of people using bikes increased during lockdown.
According to the research, 47% more cycling journeys were recorded between March 2020-2021, compared with the same period in 2019-2020.
Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director of CoMoUK, said: “It’s very welcome there has been such a sharp rise in cycling, and bike share schemes will have played a significant role in this.
"Bike sharing schemes across Scotland have improved physical and mental health and are a catalyst for people to re-engage with cycling.
"The Covid pandemic has presented many challenges when it comes to shared transport priorities, but if this kind of progress can be made during the worst of years, it’s exciting to think about the difference we can make as we come out of lockdown and begin the recovery."