British Cycling and HSBC UK launch major Bike Nation Project research initiative

Study aims to be “the largest and most comprehensive trial of cycling participation ever conducted in the UK”

British Cycling and its partner HSBC UK have today formally announced the Cycle Nation Project, which they say will be “the largest and most comprehensive trial of cycling participation ever conducted in the UK.”

As we reported yesterday, the bank is encouraging its staff to take part in the research, as well as switching to bicycles for their commutes, having removed 90 per cent of the car parking spaces at two of its major offices, in Sheffield and Birmingham.

> HSBC UK cuts 90 per cent of staff car parking to encourage workers onto bikes

The research will be led by Professor Jason Gill and Dr Cindy Gray of the University of Glasgow, working with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh.

Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC UK, said: “Riding a bike is good for you, but still millions do not cycle as much as they could or as much as they might like to.

“As a country, we need to know more about how to get people on two wheels. That’s why we are proud to be leading the Cycle Nation Project, which is the largest trial of its kind ever undertaken in the UK.

“The health and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and communities are very important to us.

“The opportunity to work with our HSBC UK colleagues as voluntary participants in this unprecedented project with the University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh is an exciting and important moment.

“We are serious about creating a legacy through our partnership with British Cycling and we hope this ambitious project will fundamentally change the country’s approach to cycling,” he added.

There are four phases to the project, and HSBC staff will participate in the second one.

The first phase is the ‘Confidence to Ride, Confidence to Invest’ report which reviews all existing research into cycling participation and explains the barriers which stop us getting more people on bikes. This is the foundation on which the Cycle Nation Project is based.

The second phase will test different approaches to increasing cycling participation amongst HSBC UK staff in four pilot locations around the country.

The third phase will involve a large-scale roll-out of the interventions across designated HSBC UK offices throughout the country. This part of the project will look specifically at measuring cycling participation, health and productivity, as well as cost-effectiveness.

The fourth and final phase will see the results of the trials evaluated and shared with government, policy-makers and other businesses to encourage the roll-out of further cycling schemes in the UK.

British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington said: “The Cycle Nation Project will provide us with a vast evidence base through which we can find real-world cycling solutions and effect a wide-scale change in cycling participation.

“We know that we need to change the way we move: for the benefit of our own personal health and wellbeing, to reduce congestion and pollution, and to make our communities nicer places to live.

“Being able to prove the best ways to get people to move differently will have lasting benefits – for the people who take part in these trials and all those who have an interest in making our country a great cycling nation,” she added.

The programme is launched today with the publication of a report, Confidence to Ride, Confidence to Invest, which you can find here.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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