UK’s first student cycle-sharing scheme adds fourth school

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A cycle-sharing scheme run by a Scottish charity has added a fourth school to its list of members.

Forth Environment Link’s nextbike project has added St Modan’s High School in the first school-based bicycle sharing network in the UK.

Free for the first 12 months for pupils aged 14 and over, it provides the children to have access to a pedal bike for journey’s to and from school as well as in and around the city of Stirling.

A £103,560 grant from Transport Scotland enabled the Forth-based school to become the fourth school station in the scheme.

Mairi McIntosh, project officer at FEL’s Stirling Active Travel Hub, said: “Active youngsters are much more likely to become active adults, so we’re making it as easy as possible for teens in Stirling to cycle more. The scheme gives them free access to a bike, whether for cycling to school or getting around the city. We’re also offering every pupil who signs up half a day’s cycle training and a voucher for a bike helmet to help keep them safe on the roads.”

The school bike share stations are an extension to the next bike scheme which already operates in Stirling. Each school has 10 bikes, as well as access to the 200 bikes stationed across the city. 

Normally, nextbike memberships are only open to those aged 18 and over but nextbike UK managing director, Krysia Solheim, said, “It’s great to see a fourth school join the scheme. We know that if sustainable transport options such as cycling are adopted from an early age, it can help to form habits that last a lifetime and we’re hoping that’s what will happen in Stirling.”

The scheme will remain free for pupils after the first 12 months providing rental time stays under an hour in duration. So far, more than 200 pupil journeys have made use of the bikes since the launch.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Cllr Jim Thomson, said, “Having St Modan’s High School join this UK-first project is fantastic news and another boost in our drive to encourage active travel across Stirling. 

“Increasing the number of people cycling and walking in the city will help cut our carbon footprint and protect the environment, which will be vital as we tackle the climate emergency together.”

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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