University’s cycLIN scheme struggles to move up a gear

Fewer than half the bikes available for hire as part of a new cycling initiative at the University of Lincoln have been taken up.

The student-only scheme was launched at the university in September in a bid to encourage cycling in and around Lincoln. The cycLIN bike scheme is a venture run jointly by the university and the charity Sustrans.

There are 69 bikes for hire, but only 31 are currently being rented. With cycling schemes up and down the country proving to be a success, particularly London’s “Boris bikes”, Lincoln’s take-up rate is disappointing.


Cycling schemes have taken off across the UK, so why is cycLIN struggling? Photo: FreeFoto

Trevor Marsh, the project support officer for cycLIN, said: “We haven’t got to all of the students who want [bikes].”

Whilst bikes were available at the Freshers’ Fayre for first-year students, many second and third year students are unaware of the cycLIN initiative. A “lack of cycling culture” in Lincoln and poor weather were two possible reasons given for the limited interest.

Francesca Mayhew, a student at the University of Lincoln, says that cycling is “the best way to get around Lincoln”, and although she credits the scheme with being “a good idea”, she would consider bringing a bike from home before taking part.

The cost of joining the scheme may also deter students from participating. The hire cost per year stands at £45, plus a £100 deposit that is returned at the end of hire. Kate Gatley, a second-year English student, believes it would be “cheaper to buy a second hand bike”.

The cycLIN venture offers a test ride for any student who is interested in partaking in the scheme, and activities and guided bike rides on Wednesday afternoons for those who sign up to the scheme.

There are also weekly bike workshops held outside the main building where students can bring their bikes, whether rented from cycLIN or otherwise, where students can have their bikes fixed and any cycling related queries answered.

Anyone wishing to get involved with the cycLIN project should email cycLIN@sustrans.org.uk or visit the team on the top floor of the enterprise building.

3 Responses to University’s cycLIN scheme struggles to move up a gear

  1. Katie Rudd says:

    I agree, its cheaper to buy a 2nd hand bike.. far too costly.

  2. Joss Winn says:

    It could be that students don’t see a need for a bike in Lincoln.

    I used to commute by bike 100 miles a week in London, but since moving to Lincoln, I’ve found it a small enough city to happily walk around and not worry about having to deal with a bike. I actually miss cycling, but can’t really justify it over walking.

  3. Trevor Marsh says:

    Thanks for a fair write up, which is generating some good feedback. I work for Sustrans and we’re participating in the hire scheme to encourage people to ride bikes rather than use cars. We’re quite happy to see people on their own bikes and we’ll help them at our Dr Bike sessions if they have problems.
    You can buy a bike for £45, but if you spend your money on a University bike, you get a new machine, that’s insured and maintained, with lights, lock, stand and rack, with a back up team on campus 5 days a week.
    Not a bad deal really.