Getting more students & staff cycling in FHE

Jack Windle, Senior Projects Manager at LovetoRide tells us about the new FHE cycling project 'UniCycle'.

 
This September sees the launch of an exciting new pilot project, funded by the Department for Transport, to get more staff and students cycling at eight universities in England. UniCycle – a partnership between Love to Ride and NUS, and supported by the EAUC – will be launching at Welcome Weeks and staging a programme of early interventions to get people on bikes at the beginning of the new academic year.
 
NUS’s preliminary research, based on surveys of 2,000 NUS Extra members, produced useful and interesting insights, including:
 
  • 56% of respondents hadn’t been on a bike for over a year, with women overrepresented in this group
  • 45% were unaware of cycle training that was on offer at their institution
  • Those who do cycle overwhelmingly do so for transport and cite environmental reasons for riding (this is rarely the case with respondents to Love to Ride’s surveys in other contexts)
  • 30% of students who do have access to a bike don’t use it at all, despite the most important factors when travelling to their place of study being time, cost and convenience
  • Not feeling safe is the most commonly cited barrier to cycling whilst at university 

So there is lots of potential to increase cycling participation in the sector, helping to meet Sustainable Development Goals and the government’s target of doubling cycling by 2025. UniCycle will bring together leaders in the sector to share and develop ideas and best practice. Behaviour change expert Andrew Darnton will facilitate a workshop in November and project teams will receive support to apply the individual, social, material (ISM) model to design ways to encourage more people to get on bikes at their institutions. We will be sharing insights from the project throughout the year.
 
In the meantime, over 80 universities are already taking part in our annual national cycling event, Cycle September. Every university and college in the UK is invited to register and take part.
 
By getting students and staff registered now, those institutions that join UniCycle for the 2018/9 academic year will be one step ahead.
 
Find out more and register for Cycle September here (it only takes a minute): lovetoride.net
 
If you’d like to find out more about UniCycle, including how to register your interest for the first full programme year in 2018/9, please email unicycle@lovetoride.org so we can discuss this with your teams.
 
Getting more students & staff cycling in FHE
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