Bike-share scheme urges UK to rethink transport in congested cities

The extent of the problem of congestion in the UK has been revealed by new research by transport firm INRIX, which put the overall cost per UK driver in wasted fuel and lost hours at £1,168. The firm adds that the UK has become the third most congested country in Europe, and one of the ten most congested countries in the world – motorists spend more than a day each year stuck in rush-hour traffic. In response, bike-share scheme nextbike states the UK needs to get smarter with its transport solutions.

Julian Scriven, managing director of nextbike UK, said the findings were not surprising but should act as a wake-up call for people to think about other modes of transport in the UK.

“The fact that drivers in UK cities now spend more than a day each year stuck in rush-hour traffic proves that current transport options are not working,” he said. “Being the third most-congested country in Europe is not something we should be proud of. It is bad for the economy, bad for the environment and bad for the pockets of drivers who are sat crawling along to work in rush-hour traffic.

“While bike-share schemes don’t hold all of the answers, they can certainly play an integral part of a wider solution. We need to see bike-share schemes and cycling as a whole embraced more widely up and down the country by planners, local authorities and by the general public to help ease the problem.”

Scriven welcomed an announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT), which said it was investing £23bn in road schemes to reduce congestion, but warned that new schemes must consider other transport options alongside cars.

“It’s great news that the Department for Transport is investing £23bn, but we must ensure that some of that money is being spent on improving cycling infrastructure to offer people viable alternatives to automatically getting behind the wheel of their car.

“We know that commuters who ditch the car in favour of a nextbike not only save time and money by avoiding rush-hour congestion, but are also healthier thanks to their increased levels of exercise. The environmental impact of removing a car from the rush-hour queue should also not be forgotten.”

First launched in Bath in 2014 and also operating in Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Exeter, Belfast, Stirling and the University of Warwick, nextbike has grown to become one of the most integrated modes of transport for users across the country. nextbikes are available 24 hours a day and users can register and hire bikes in just a couple of minutes. Fees start from 16p per day.

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