Smart Transport

Should bikeshare schemes, be part of the Prime Minister’s “anti-obesity drive”?

Johan Herrlin, Ito World CEO

Author: Johan Herrlin, Ito World CEO

Boris Johnson’s £2bn plan to combat obesity by boosting cycling and walking comes at a time when growing numbers of us are taking to pedal and foot power.

According to the DfT, cycling levels up rose up to 300% on some days during Covid-19.

We are getting used to travelling from A to B in new and different ways.

This drive from the government is timely and on point, and there is a ready-made solution in bikeshare, especially in urban spaces, that needs to be part of the picture – healthy Brits, healthy environment.

Micromobilty (schemes like bikeshare) is now a sustainable reality in cities all around the world.

What’s more, they’re easily discoverable in Google Maps and Apple Maps, who are providing bikeshare availability information with bike-friendly directions integrated into their journey planners.

Thousands of city dwellers might want to use a bike for health reasons, for environmental reasons, or to simply navigate the city, but do not have access to one (or the ability to safely store one) can now do so easily.

We’re working in partnership with global journey planners to help people around the world have access to accurate and timely transport data, including bikeshare, making a switch from use of private vehicles increasingly viable.

As the world adjusts to our new normal - this could be the age of the (shared) bike.

The pandemic has resulted in a number of significant shifts for cycling and bikesharing along with micromobility in general.

The most obvious is that it’s very clear that cycling is a really safe, convenient, and individual way to get around the city in a socially distanced manner.

City residents have also gotten a glimpse of what life could look like with fewer cars – more walking and biking, more space given to restaurant seating and walking streets all with a lot less danger, noise, pollution and congestion.

It has created space to have an open discussion about how we want to experience cities and a new measure of quality of life, leading to the explorations of better cycling and walking infrastructure.

Not only beneficial for our cities and the environment, cycling is also good for our health, giving Britons a means to help fight obesity and live healthier lives.

With reduced use of public transport during the pandemic, we cannot allow the only alternative option to be the use of private cars.

Walking, cycling and micromobility can help fill some of these gaps preventing us from becoming further dependent on cars.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


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