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British Cycling and HSBC UK announce launch of Cycle Nation Project

British Cycling and HSBC UK announce launch of Cycle Nation Project

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The HSBC UK and British Cycling partnership has today announced the details of its Cycle Nation Project, a four-year phased programme that will become the largest and most comprehensive trial of cycling participation ever conducted in the UK.

The programme will explore the best ways to get more people on bikes and will see the partnership testing cycling solutions with HSBC UK staff nationwide.

The independently-conducted scientific project will be overseen by Professor Jason Gill and Dr. Cindy Gray of the University of Glasgow, working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. The ambition for the Cycle Nation Project is to prove which real-world methods work best and provide clear guidance on how to get more people on their bikes.

  • The Cycle Nation Project is a four-year programme to test ways to get more people on their bikes
  • The project aims to trial real-world solutions with HSBC UK employees across the country in a large-scale randomised controlled trial
  • The Confidence to Ride, Confidence to Invest report lays the ground-work for an ambitious, long-term goal of turning the UK into a greener, fitter and healthier great cycling nation

Ian Stuart, CEO, 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.”

HSBC UK staff will be taking part in the trials in phase 2.

The Cycle Nation Project is made up of four phases:  

  • 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.

Julie Harrington, CEO, British Cycling, 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.”

The Cycle Nation Project’s interventions include comprehensive cycle training courses to build confidence, the use of personal technology to create cycling habits, flexible work hours to avoid traffic, a cycle maintenance service and a subsidised cycle purchase scheme, amongst others. These varying interventions will be tested in different locations across the country and with staff of all ages and abilities to provide a comprehensive picture of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to cycling participation.

The Cycle Nation Project forms part of the eight-year partnership between HSBC UK and British Cycling which aims to make the UK a greener, fitter and healthier nation.

Today sees the first phase of the programme with the launch of the ‘Confidence to Ride, Confidence to Invest’ report which reviews existing scientific research into cycling participation from around the world. It identifies what is known, what is unproven, and where there are knowledge gaps around cycling behaviour.

Download the report