Traffic & Transportation Cabinet Decision Meeting - 10th August 2023
Agenda item 6: Portsmouth Bike Share Scheme
Following the launch of a bike share rental scheme in October 2022, funded through the Solent Future Transport Zone (FTZ), this report provides an update on the scheme’s progress and sets out the strategy for future expansion plans.
The Cabinet Member for Transport:
Noted the progress of the bike share rental scheme, Beryl Bikes by Breeze, since its launch in October 2022;
Approved the Portsmouth Bike Share expansion strategy as set out in Appendix A;
Noted that an update report on the Solent Future Transport Zone programme will be brought in to the Cabinet Member for Transport in early 2023.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum welcomes and thanks the council for bringing this report forward. It is always useful to be able to see data and future planning for expansion.
It is interesting to note that the report highlights that June 2023 saw around 4500 trips travelled totalling over 7000 miles and the average ride length was 1.4 miles, which is right in the sweet spot of the range of journeys that are being targeted to be converted from motor vehicles to sustainable travel modes.
It also highlights just how many trips and distances that people who cycle but do not utilise the hire bike scheme may travel in the everyday journeys must take place and are not recorded. This data is essential to enable network planning for capacity across the city. We hope that the data about the routes travelled and preferred by hire bike scheme users are also recorded and available to the council to enable this work to take place under the scheme developments of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and Local Transport Strategy. This data will only improve with the expansion of the scheme as outlined in today’s report.
Whilst we understand the process that has so far underlined the identification and development of bike hub (and often e-scooter parking) locations. However, footway space is already at a premium and the continuation of locating micro-mobility hubs on them is not sustainable. There will come a time when these will have to concentrate on being located on the road with the subsequent loss of a parking space.
If the council has a desire to increase bike share usage then the start and end of journeys will need to be located where people need and want to access them. Secondary shopping areas such as Fratton Road, London Road, Cosham High Street, Elm Grove, Albert Road and Milton Market need more coverage to ensure there is availability at all times, and give local residents the confidence that there will be bikes available if they need them.
For this reason we welcome the ability to be able to request bike hub locations on the council website and are delighted that there is such a wide geographic spread of locations being recorded. As has happened with the residential bike hanger project, we welcome a robust criteria scoring is developed to be able to transparently assess, determine and support the future identification and roll out of bike hub locations.
Accessibility and correct positioning will be the key area of any bike hub scheme – or general bike parking and storage – expansion. It seems the perfect opportunity to trial locations under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order in order to adjust or change the locations in order to find the optimum coverage. It also relates back to the data issue and the identification of popularity of routes and destinations. If there is a reliance on bike share data only there is a loss of data in those areas that are not effectively served by the scheme.
**Portsmouth Cycle Forum supports the recommended action to approve the bike share expansion strategy in appendix A and looks forward to being able to promote an expanded, developed network of bike share facilities to help to achieve the aims of our ‘A City To Share’ Strategy.