Transport for Greater Manchester Cycle Hire Study report now available…

In September 2012, JMP and Transport Initiatives, (JMP/TI) consultants were contracted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to undertake a study into the feasibility of introducing a public bicycle sharing (PBS) scheme into the Greater Manchester (GM) area.  The final report was delivered to TfGM on 3rd September 2013.

Transport for Greater Manchester Cycle Hire Study 250

The Cycle Hire Study report is not yet available on the TfGM website but can be downloaded from the Love Your Bike Dropbox site. The 100+ page report summarises the following:

  • Review of existing PBS schemes to identify factors that have contributed to a successful scheme, or conversely which have been responsible for a scheme failing to deliver its intended aims;
  • Examination of the key markets for bicycle hire in GM;
  • Identification of the fit between bicycle hire and the wider transport network;
  • Provision of conclusions and recommendations identifying whether a scheme is considered feasible, and if so, the next steps TfGM may wish to take.

In response to the question – Which areas of Greater Manchester would initially be covered by a PBS? the report conculdes:

“The area of the city that is most likely to meet/match the criteria above is the regional centre,
including the outlying areas of Salford Quays, the Oxford Road corridor and Hulme. It is
recommended that these areas are considered in more detail in Stage 2 in order to provide a more
definitive boundary. These areas have been selected because they include:

  • The user groups who are most likely to use the scheme;
  • They contain a critical mass of key employment, and retail and leisure destinations;
  • The hubs could be located at intervals of 300 – 400m thereby providing a ‘cyclable’ network;
  • Manchester city centre in particular contains high levels of pedestrian footfall, which is a good indication of the likely success of a scheme;
  • The proposed scheme boundary has a good match with the pattern of trips made by existing cyclists. In particular the origins of most trips ending in the city centre lie within the proposed boundary of the PBS scheme. This suggests that there is already a higher propensity to cycle in these areas than elsewhere, and
  • Trips made by PBS between these destinations would offer journey times that are highly competitive with other modes of transport and hence attractive particularly if a free period of ½ hour is granted. (Page 90)

The report recommends that the following work should be undertaken:

  •  Discuss and potentially refine the proposed hire boundary taking into account the:
  • Issues raised regarding the potential low uptake at Ordsall and St Georges;
  • Potential irregular uptake of PBS on the Sportcity corridor.
  • Potential upfront capital costs
  • To determine the potential business model to be followed but with an emphasis towards the two most likely source of incomes, advertising and sponsorship in order to determine viability. This is likely to require potential dialogue with operators.
  • To determine the operating system for the scheme, including system type, user charges, subscription / registration of scheme, etc.
  • Scope out the potential locations of bicycle hire hubs focusing on those within the InnerRelief Road first.
  • Develop an implementation programme including scheme set-up, complementary cycle measures, roll-out, delivery and ongoing operation of the scheme, along with future plans for the scheme.
  • Identify key risks and mitigation options.

No indication yet, how Transport for Greater Manchester or Manchester City Council will respond to the report’s findings…..  watch this space.