Forth Bike, an electric bicycle scheme across Forth Valley, saw rides increase by over 230% between 2019 and 2020.
While the pandemic has brought many challenges and serious hardships, it has driven more people to explore their local area with the aid of these hi-tech bikes. Forth Bike is the first scheme of its type connecting three local authority areas – Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
The scheme is run by Forth Environment Link (FEL), an environmental charity working to tackle climate change at a local level. Their work focuses on three main themes:
- Active and sustainable travel – primarily increasing access to and support for more everyday cycling and walking journeys.
- Local food and growing – covering the whole grow, cook, eat and access to food agendas.
- Reuse and repair – working with young people on skills development and confidence building around wood reuse.
FEL worked with local communities, landowners and funders to develop the project in a way that meets multiple priorities, while still retaining the fundamental principles behind operating a public bike share scheme.
We have been delivering community-led projects across Forth Valley (and more widely in Scotland) for the past 20 years. With the Forth Bike scheme, the main thing that has changed is the number of people using the scheme and the very nature of cycling within and between communities is that people get to see their surrounding area in a different way and are encouraged to spend time exploring and, hopefully, spending money locally.
Top five stations:
- The Helix – 8,745 rides
- Falkirk High Street (station opened in February 2020) – 2,055 rides
- Falkirk Wheel – 1,803 rides
- Stenhousemuir (station opened in November 2019) – 1,710 rides
- Forth Valley Royal Hospital – 1,109 rides
How you can get involved
Tourism is an economic and social powerhouse for Scotland. It creates wealth and social benefits in every corner of the country and enhances the wellbeing of everyone who takes a holiday at home. For more information on all strands of this project and how you can get involved visit our #tourismforceforgood page.