Cycling has increased by 38 per cent among staff at the University of Nottingham in two years and a whopping 66 per cent in Leeds in four years thanks to two bike-boosting projects.
Staff and students at the universities and teaching hospitals in Leeds and Nottingham took part in UCycle Nottingham and UTravel Active Leeds respectively, led by charity Sustrans.
The projects have provided a fleet of hire bikes in both cities, cycle training and bike maintenance sessions, advice on planning safe routes, group rides and more.
"What these two projects have shown is that people are willing to travel by bike for their local, daily journeys if only they are given the right spaces, encouragement and information to do so," said Sustrans’ chief executive Malcolm Shepherd. "Thanks to Sustrans and our partners, people in Leeds and Nottingham now have more opportunities to be regularly active, and enjoy all the health benefits that brings."
61 per cent of people replaced at least one mile of car travel per week with walking or cycling
56 per cent increase in cycling levels reported in travel surveys at Nottingham University Hospitals
570 tonnes of carbon saved by decrease in regular car journeys among staff at all three sites
66 per cent increase in cycling levels
36 per cent have reduced their car travel by at least a mile a day
The proportion of students that never drive doubled
Ellis Broomhall uses the bike hire scheme to make daily journeys from his home in the Forest Fields area of the city, to study at Nottingham Trent University. He said: "The bike hire scheme is so easy, I can just grab a bike when I need one, and don’t have to worry about the security of having a personal bike on campus."
Krystel Shelmerdine (28) is a second year postgraduate student at Leeds University and has been taking cycling lessons as part of the project. She said: "After just three lessons I’m already thinking ahead to how I can use my new bike. I aim to cycle regularly to my work placement next spring. I currently do the trip by car but it’s only three-and-a-half miles so it is easily doable by bike. It means I’ll be fitting exercise naturally into my day, which is important as I’m really busy."