Wanted - new cities to join Bike Life 2018/22

People on bikes outside Birmingham Library

Bike Life is an assessment of city cycling development, including infrastructure, travel behaviour, satisfaction and the impact of cycling

25 January 2018

Bike Life is the UK’s biggest assessment of cycling delivered by Sustrans in collaboration with seven cities. We are now looking for at least three new cities to join the project and are inviting local authorities to apply.

What is Bike Life?

Inspired by the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, Bike Life is an assessment of city cycling development, including infrastructure, travel behaviours, resident views, and the impact of cycling.

Bike Life provides the participating cities with in-depth information, through a set of city reports and other publications, allowing them to comprehensively assess and report on the development of cycling in their area.

Bike Life is designed to capture overall cycling development in a way that is meaningful not only to transport specialists, but also to a wide variety of audiences, from city leaders to the business community and the wider public.

The first Bike Life reports were published for seven major UK cities in 2015 and the second set of reports were published in November 2017. We're currently developing a number of other Bike Life publications using last year's data on inclusive cycling, air quality and congestion.

Extending and expanding Bike Life from 2018 - 2022

We have secured funding from The Freshfield Foundation to continue Bike Life from 2018 to 2022. We want to work in partnership with an expanded group of ten cities to develop the project further, publish reports in 2019 and 2021 and enable positive change across UK cities.

This means we are searching for new cities, combined authorities or London Boroughs to join the programme. We are holding an open competition during February for new cities to apply.

We require match funding from each Bike Life city of £15,000 per year for four years, from April 2018 until March 2022 (£60,000 in total). This contribution covers approximately one third of the total costs of Bike Life.

What do you get as a Bike Life city? 

  • Production of a comprehensive report for your city and other publications
  • Promotion of the Bike Life project and findings, including a stakeholder launch event in your city
  • The opportunity to work in partnership with nine other cities, including attendance at the Bike Life Partners Summit

Benefits of becoming a Bike Life city

  • An opportunity to join an innovative project – work alongside nine other cities collecting the most comprehensive picture of cycling
  • An opportunity to involve and inspire – Sustrans will produce two Bike Life reports for your city over four years, alongside other valuable publications, for example focused reports on air quality and inclusive cycling.
  • Sharing best practice – ten key cities from across the UK will share data and help shape the political and funding landscape for cycling in the UK.
  • Technical advice and support to enable cycling data capture, analysis and reporting for your city – working with our award winning research and monitoring team.

How are Bike Life reports being used? 

Local authorities are using the report findings as an opportunity to talk about the benefits of cycling for everyone. Cities are also using Bike Life to develop and monitor new strategies and action plans, and to justify investment in cycling.

Examples of how Bike Life has contributed to increased investment and influenced development include:

  • Greater Manchester’s cycling commissioner Chris Boardman’s used Bike Life in the ‘Made to Move Strategy’ to underpin his call for £1.5bn of funding to transform Greater Manchester, welcomed by the Mayor;
  • Edinburgh Council has used the finding that people want more protected cycle lanes in its decision to proceed with the major Roseburn to Leith cross-city route, in the face of vocal opposition

Further information on Bike Life, including downloadable reports, methodology, videos and blogs are available on the Bike Life homepage.

Interested in taking part? Applications close 28th February 2018 

If you have any questions before then please do not hesitate to contact: Dene Stevens, Bike Life Manager<, T: 0121 633 5501