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New Bike Life project to help cities develop business case for cycling

Patrick McDonnell
31 January 2018
Xavier Brice: Bike Life allows city leaders and transport planners to evaluate progress, whilst showcasing how cycling is good for all of us.
Xavier Brice: Bike Life allows city leaders and transport planners to evaluate progress, whilst showcasing how cycling is good for all of us.


Sustrans is inviting cities and local authorities to take part in a project to collect cycling data relating to infrastructure, travel habits, public attitudes and air quality.

As an extension of its Bike Life initiative, the charity says the project will help participating cities build the case for cycling and inform planning at a local level while shaping the political and funding landscape for active travel across the UK.

For example, Greater Manchester’s cycling commissioner Chris Boardman recently highlighted findings of Bike Life 2017 in the ‘Made to Move Strategy’ to underpin his call for £1.5bn of funding to transform cycling in Greater Manchester.

The Scottish Government also committed to rolling out Bike Life in seven cities in Scotland, starting this year.

Sustrans CEO, Xavier Brice, says: “We want to work with and support cities that have already shown leadership and are committed to developing cycling for their residents.

“Investing in cycling is key to keeping our cities moving, and improving their health and economic vitality. Since its launch in 2015, Bike Life has provided invaluable insights into public attitudes to cycling showing people want to cycle more but the lack of safe infrastructure holds them back.

“With Bike Life, city leaders and transport planners can develop a long-term approach that can underpin strategies, be used to evaluate progress whilst showcasing how cycling is good for all of us.”

Bike Life was launched in 2015 in seven UK cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle. It includes an independent survey with a representative sample of 1,100 residents aged 16+ in each city.

In 2017, Bike Life showed that four out of five people (78%) wanted more protected bike routes built to make cycling safer, even when this could mean less space for other road traffic.

Following funding from the Freshfield Foundation, Sustrans is now extending the project to ten cities, with each selected city being asked to match fund £15,000 per year from April 2018 until March 2022, to cover one third of the total costs.

The Bike Life competition closes on 28 February 2018. To download the application and supporting guidance go to:

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