Dr Mags Adams (ICSC, UCLan)
will be joined by Dr Graeme Sherriff and Dr Nick Davies (Salford University)
to present the first ICSC seminar on cities and bike-sharing schemes,
reporting on their research project in Manchester.
Researchers from the Universities of Central
Lancashire and Salford, in partnership with British
Cycling, have investigated bike share in the context of Greater
Manchester, and asked if bike share works, who it works for, and how it can
work better. The project considered the reasons people use such
services, the impact it has, and how we can help more people benefit from it.
Bike Share schemes are
proliferating in cities across the world. These allow members of the public to
borrow a bike to make a specific journey across the city. They started a few
years ago, allowing riders to unlock a bike from one ‘docking rack’ and cycle
it to another. More recently, ‘dockless’ bike share schemes have spread, which
use smartphone apps and GPS to allow users to locate and utilise the nearest
bike. While city public authorities have played a role in early bike share
schemes around the world, the newer dockless GPS based systems often involve
Mobike, a dockless bike share company has hit
the UK news headlines recently, with its decision to pull
out of Manchester. Around the world, dockless bike schemes have caused
controversy. Unlike dock-based schemes, the dockless systems do not require
planning permission and can escape regulation, often raising allegations
about ‘rogue operators’ and ‘street clutter’. At the same time, bike share
schemes have the potential to contribute to developing more sustainable
and active cities. Furthermore, these new forms of both municipal and corporate
sharing may be part of other social changes, for example in how they may
reconfigure private, public and common forms of property.
Dockless Bike-Share schemes in Manchester and other
cities have been the subject of considerable media attention and debate.
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