Stirling schools bike share is a Forth Environment Link one year pilot project to introduce public bike share facilities at the four Stirling High Schools.
Presently in Scotland 5.2% of young people cycle to primary school but only 1.3 % cycle to High School (HUSS 2017). Cycling rates begin to fall when young people leave primary school and continue to drop until they learn to drive at 17.The project was proposed to counteract this drop off. It is hoped that the initiative will instil social and environmental responsibility, encourage and raise physical activity levels and ward off car dependency in later life. The project is funded by Transport Scotland and the public bike share contract was awarded to the existing bike share provider in Stirling, nextbike.
There are four high schools in Stirling city; Bannockburn High, Stirling High, St Modans and Wallace High. The schools form part of a city-wide ‘Learning Campus’ where students move between schools and other learning centres within the city as part of their learning journey. Previously these journeys have been undertaken by taxi or car, and it is hoped that some of these journeys can now be undertaken by bike. The project will provide a new secondary school mobility option for Stirling that links into and enhances existing public transport/bike share options and will Increase the opportunities for school students to travel around their ‘Learning Campus’ actively.
As part of the project, the pupils nextbike memberships are free for the first hour of use. There are 27 Next bike stations in and around Stirling city. The stations are approximately 30 minutes cycling distance apart, so it is perfectly possible to travel between stations without incurring any cost. In order for the young people to access their free memberships they have to undertake a 3 ½ hour training session. The session includes a classroom based presentation on road positioning followed by a practical skills assessment and then an on road training session. Once the training has been completed successfully pupils are given a £30.00 voucher towards the cost of a cycling helmet.
Bike stations are now installed at 3 of the four schools with one other to be installed at St Modans High School in the near future. There already is a nextbike station at Forth Valley College.
The project was launched during Bike to School week by Bruce Crawford MSP on the Friday the 27th of September at Bannockburn High School is the first school bike share project UK. The launch was covered by the Scotsman and BBC Scotland.
Training has now been delivered at Stirling and Bannockburn High to pupils and there are now 36 pupil members of the bike share project. Promotion and continued support for the members at the schools is ongoing and the installation of the fourth bike station at St Modans is in the final stage of approval with Stirling Council.
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