Residents of Withernsea have the opportunity to get on their bikes thanks to a unique partnership being delivered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in partnership with Active Withernsea and SHoRes.
The new bicycle library to be launched on Friday 30th July 2021 as part of a 'world first' multi-national partner project, will give residents the opportunity to hire a brand new bicycle for free, as well as offering support with maintenance, advice on safe cycling and health to improve health and wellbeing.
The bicycles will be fitted with a state of the art tracking system, which also gathers data on road condition, accident blackspots and cycle use. The trackers, fitted to each bicycle, are supplied by See.Sense, an award-winning UK technology and data company that brings technology and people together to enable more people to cycle. The data collected will include popular routes, speed, dwell times, plus data on swerving, braking and collisions as well as in-app user reports, which will be used by East Riding of Yorkshire Council to inform cycle infrastructure planning, and will also be used to monitor behaviour change, and provide individualised support to users, such as the creation of travel routes, and to provide them with incentives and assistance to cycle more.
Irene McAleese, co-founder and CSO of See.Sense, said: "We are very excited to be selected to provide the technology platform and data for the EYCC bike hire library. As part of the EU-funded Bicycle Intelligent Transport Systems project, the project will provide world-class showcase of applications of connected cycling technology and data, which can be used to address barriers to cycling and help enable more people to cycle."
The project, 'Bicycles and Intelligent Transport Systems' (BITS) has been co-funded by the North Sea Region (NSR) Programme of the European Union. Intelligent transport systems, or ITS, have been developed to increase safety and tackle growing emission and congestion problems within transport networks. They can make transport safer, more efficient and more sustainable by applying various information and communication technologies to all types of transport, including cycling. In total the technology is being piloted by 10 organisations across the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, as well as the East Riding.
Together, the partners are working to raise awareness of "smart cycling" best practices through these ITS pilots, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 9% and increase bicycle use by 10% within target groups across the North Sea Region.
Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism at East Riding of Yorkshire council, said: "East Riding of Yorkshire Council are really excited to be able to bring this innovative project to Withernsea. The BITS project involves participants from great cycling nations, such as Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands and we have been able to learn a lot from the project. We hope that the bike library gives more residents the chance to take up cycling, which can only benefit health and wellbeing as well as reducing the prominence of cars in the town centre and reducing carbon emissions."
The library will be managed by the SHoRes team who will provide support and training for all those who borrow a bicycle throughout the project.
The SHoRes Centre will also support the pilot by launching their new enterprise, Blue Door Pop-in based in the Valley Gardens which will include a cycle cafÃ© and repair centre where bike donations will be gratefully received for refurbishment and sold at low cost to provide affordable bicycles for the community.
Jayne Nendick, CEO of the SHoRes Centre, said of the project: "We are excited to be part of the BITS project to manage the bike library and the additional opportunity it has brought us outside of the BITS project to evolve the Blue Door pop-in so that it becomes a community hub that compliments employment and training opportunities alongside health and wellbeing. We aim to develop people's skills to enable them to look after their own bicycle and engage with other community members. We want to develop a cycling culture in Withernsea and for it to become an area for cycling tourism which we hope will have a positive impact on local businesses and the surrounding area."
To find out more about the bike library or to loan a bike, Withernsea residents can either pop in to the ShoRes Centre, call on 01964 615190 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the Blue Door Pop-In building in Valley Gardens, Withernsea. The Cafe is open Thursday to Sunday and the workshop is open Monday to Wednesday.
For more information about the project or the co-funder, please visit the BITS website: https://northsearegion.eu/bits/
Or visit us on Twitter or Facebook at @BITS_EU or on LinkedIn at BITS_EU.