A new annual report by national shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has found that bikeshare schemes continue to grow in popularity with 61% of riders saying they have saved them money.
The charity surveyed more than 2,000 active users between September 2021 and September 2022.
Those from low-income groups on £20,000 a year or less made up 24% of users, demonstrating how bikesharing can improve access to mobility for disadvantaged communities.
Additionally, almost three quarters of respondents said the schemes benefitted their mental health.
The most common regular purpose for trips was commuting and work-related travel, while more than half said they used shared bikes for exercise, leisure and visiting friends and family.
“Our report highlights the numerous advantages of bikeshare, especially in the context of a cost of living crisis,” Richard Dilks, Chief Executive of CoMoUK, told Zag Daily.
“Bikeshare schemes relieve individuals of the risks, expenses and responsibilities associated with owning a bike, like cycle maintenance and storage, offering a more affordable transportation option for those facing financial challenges.”
Bikeshare schemes recorded nearly 20 million hires in total – an average of 54,285 rides per day.
This is up from 41,599 daily hires in the previous 12 months, while the number of new schemes across the UK grew from 39 to 43.
E-bikes are also growing in popularity with over six million hires last year.
Nearly 12,000 e-bikes were available to hire via shared schemes at the end of September, up from around 5,000 the year before.
When asked for their reasons for renting an e-bike, 48% said it reduced journey time, 36% said it tackled physical barriers like cycling up hills, and 34% did it to avoid fatigue or getting sweaty.