Councils sign up for London Cycling Campaign 'Urban Cycle Loan' programme to encourage cycling

Bike loan scheme

The London Cycling Campaign is celebrating increased take-up of our 'Urban Cycle Loan' programme, which enables people who live, work or study within one of the participating boroughs to borrow a bike free for one month.

Urban Cycle Loan is now being rolled out in three boroughs - Lewisham, Lambeth and Enfield - and provides participants with a bike, as well as a tailored support package that encourages them to start cycling regularly and, crucially, to continue cycling once the loan period is over.

Metrics from the scheme show that participants are extremely likely to carry on cycling after the programme ends, and many see family and friends start cycling too.

  • 85% say they'll cycle more in the future as a result of the programme
  • 87% have either bought a bike or will buy a bike as a result of the scheme
  • 66% of participants use their bike more than three times per week for an average journey time of 30-60mins
  • 27% of participants say friends or family have started cycling as a result of them being on the programme.

LCC's Business Development Manager Chris Jubb said, "Local authorities now have targets to improve public health, and many are also worried about motor traffic congestion in their streets.

"Therefore, it's not surprising these councils want to encourage more cycling to benefit their borough, and our Urban Cycle Loan programme is a proven, cost-effective way to do this."

The programme was piloted in Greenwich, by its Health and Wellbeing team, with Lewisham Council being the second to adopt the programme over a year ago.

Improvements since the pilot now include a bike loan website, where participants can select bikes and equipment, reducing adminstration time for council officers.

Enfield Council and Lambeth Council have just started their loan programmes in April/May 2014.

Liz Brooker of Lewisham Council said, “It was a pleasure working with the London Cycling Campaign projects team, who made the roll-out of the programme quick and easy. They helped us to achieve our targets on sustained behaviour change and I wouldn't hesitate to use their services again.”

As well as providing a bicycle, which is tailored to their needs, the programme provides support throughout the four weeks to coach and motivate participants to make the most of their time and to help to effect long-term behaviour change.

Phil, 38, loaned a bike in Lewisham, said, “Making the first journey to work by bike was a key moment for me, and working out it’s quicker than London transport and cheaper.”

Another participant Sue, 30, said, “Since joining the programme, I've seen that it’s raining and still want to go cycling. Before taking part in the scheme I would've just taken the train and left my bike at home.”

After the one-month loan period, participants are offered a discounted bike to purchase, and further monitoring of their activity takes place.

Most participants cite increasing fitness and exercise as the most important reason for taking part, with losing weight and gaining independence other key factors.

For further details our Urban Bike Loan scheme are available from

Lewisham Cycle Loan scheme