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British Cycling and HSBC UK launch Cycle Nation Project to provide 'real-world solutions' for getting people on bikes

Joe Robinson
3 Jun 2019

New four-year programme to use HSBC employees to trial real-world solution to get more people riding

British Cycling has launched a new four-year project to provide 'real-world solutions' to get more people on bikes and 'transform Britain into a great cycling nation'.

The Cycling Nation Project will be the largest trial of its kind and look to execute four phases from initial independent reports through to the lobbying of policymakers with the eventual goal of making the UK 'a greener, fitter and healthier' nation.

The new phased programme will take place under a joint partnership between British Cycling and HSBC UK and be overseen by Professor Jason Gill and Dr Cindy Gray of the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh.

Backing the project, CEO of HSBC UK Iain Stuart commented on how this presented an opportunity for the major bank to leave a lasting legacy in its time as primary sponsor of British Cycling.

'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,' Stuart explained. '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.

'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.'

Stuart also underlined the unique opportunity to use the HSBC workforce to test the 'cycling solutions' laid out from the study, with HSBC staff across the country set to participate in the study to provide real-world results.

A four phase project

The Cycle Nation Project will consist of four phases across the next four years.

Phase one, launched today, will be the 'Confidence to Ride, Confidence to Invest' report that will review all existing research in cycling participation and the obstacles stopping and create new solutions.

Phase two will test the solutions using participants from HSBC across four pilot locations in the UK before phase three sees a large-scale roll-out of the solutions across HSBC offices, with the focus specifically on participation and cost-effectiveness. 

The final phase will evaluate the results of the study before being shared with 'Government, policy-makers and other businesses to encourage the roll-out of further cycling schemes in the UK'.

Some of the initial pathways to be explored include flexible working hours in order to miss peak traffic times, a cycle maintenance service and confidence building courses.

CEO of British Cycling Julie Harrington also commented on the announcement and how important these 'real-world' trials could be in increasing cycling participation across the UK in the future.

'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,' said Harrington.

'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.'