Bikehangar is handed over to residents

Abby Hone, Principal Transport Planner, Brighton & Hove City Council with Frauke Behrendt, Project Leader, Smart e-bikes Research Project and Chris Sevink, Chair of the Ditchling Rise Area Residents Association

Abby Hone, Principal Transport Planner, Brighton & Hove City Council with Frauke Behrendt, Project Leader, Smart e-bikes Research Project and Chris Sevink, Chair of the Ditchling Rise Area Residents Association

Brighton’s first Bikehangar – an on-street lock up for bicycles – has been officially handed over to residents.

The University of Brighton-led project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Brighton and Hove City Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF)*.

The hangar was formally presented on Tuesday, 9th September to the Ditchling Rise Area Residents Association (DRARA) which will manage the facility.

The hangar, on the corner of Ditchling Rise and Shaftesbury Road, is part of the university’s ‘smart e-bikes’ research project which is trialling and researching electrically-assisted cycles.

The ‘smart e-bikes’ research project, led by the University of Brighton between 2011 and 2014, is funded by the EPSRC. The aim of the project is to understand how people engage with smart e-cycling and the issues for policy, design/product development and research that could lead to a higher uptake of e-bikes in the UK, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

One of the Smart e-bikes Project's bikes by the Bikehangar on Shaftesbury Road

One of the Smart e-bikes Project’s bikes by the Bikehangar on Shaftesbury Road

Dr Frauke Behrendt, senior lecturer and leading the project at the university, said: “This trial enabled us to understand how the combination of an e-bike and sheltered cycle storage might encourage more people to take up cycling. The Bikehangar is of particular importance to those who do not have space to park their bike in or outside their own homes.”

The new hangar has six spaces available for rent by nearby residents.

Attending the handover were: Abby Hone, Principal Transport Planner, Brighton & Hove City Council; Chris Sevink, Chair of the Ditchling Rise Area Residents Association; and Frauke Behrendt, Project Leader, Smart e-bikes Research Project, University of Brighton.

* Further information on Brighton & Hove City Council’s LSTF project can be found here.

Latest news from the project

The Smart e-bikes Research Project has recently published two videos about its work, and also features on the Guardian website.

SMART E-BIKES VIDEOS

We have recently uploaded 2 videos, which were filmed during an e-bikes trial event in Brighton on 9th March 2013.

The aim of the event was to raise public awareness of e-cycling, by offering free training to members of the public, and to gather information for the research project. The event was organised by the University of Brighton and Brighton & Hove City Council, and funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

One video provides interviews with the participants at the event and captures their attitudes and insights. The other video concentrates on the nature of the project research – explaining its rationale, the trials involving a fleet of 35 e-bikes in Brighton and Hove, and the development of an open-source/sensor monitoring system that enables real-time display of rider data, plus research analysis.

The videos are available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/smartebikes
https://vimeo.com/71895660 and https://vimeo.com/71895116

 

FEATURE ON THE GUARDIAN WEBSITE

A thoughtful article, written by Dr Frauke Behrendt, the Smart e-bikes Project Leader, has recently been published on the Guardian Sustainable Business partner zone, entitled “Using electrically-assisted bikes: lazy cheaters or healthy travellers?”

It is available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/electrically-assisted-bikes-lazy-or-healthy

E-bikes power up Brighton on Saturday 9 March

People from Brighton and Hove are being invited to try out new electrically-assisted bikes in a bid to boost cycling in the UK.

The e-bikes, as they are known, are being tested at a free event in Preston Park, Brighton, next Saturday (9 March) and are part of a University of Brighton-led project to increase the number of people who travel by bike.

The project is led by Dr Frauke Behrendt, a researcher from the university’s Faculty of Arts, and is funded by a three-year grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The research team has been working with Brighton & Hove Council over the past year to trial the e-bikes across the city. The public event is co-funded by the LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund).

E-bikes are fitted with rechargeable batteries which help when riders pedal against head-winds or up steep hills. They are very popular on the continent but have yet to become widely-used in the UK. The project partners hope that by pioneering their use in the UK, they can create more interest in e-bikes and encourage a wider range of people to cycle.

At the event members of the public who have expressed an interest in trying the bikes will be able to put them through their paces. Access to specialist one-to-one cycle training for the e-bikes will also be provided. Travel advisers from the council will also be available to talk to people about their travel options in Brighton & Hove.

Anyone who would like to try the bikes or receive training must register in advance, as spaces are limited. To register please complete the online survey – https://www.smart-survey.co.uk/s/70852GGOXP or call 01273 642689.

The 35 bikes involved in the trial are made by project partner and manufacturer Raleigh UK. Local company Baker St Bikes is also supporting the project by providing e-bike maintenance and advice to the public, while M-Cycle is providing the e-cycle training.

Notes for editors:

1. Contact for a case study: Maria Robinson from M-Cycle,maria@M-CYCLEHIRE.CO.UK)
2. Interviewees from Brighton & Hove City Council (Abby Hone, abby.hone@brighton-hove.gov.uk, University of Brighton (Frauke Behrendt, f.behrendt@brighton.ac.uk), Baker St Bikes (Chris Balchin, 01273 675754), and cycle trainer Maria Robinson from M-Cycle maria@M-CYCLEHIRE.CO.UK available on request
3.  There will be photo opportunities on 9 March with members of public testing the e-bikes and receiving specialist tuition. Please contact kathy.caton@googlemail.com for further details if you wish to attend to photograph/report on the event.
4. A three-year grant from the EPSRC has enabled Dr Behrendt, and colleagues Dr Sally Cairns from TRL (Transport Research Laboratory ) and UCL (University College London), and David Raffo, from University of Ulster, to set up the ‘smart e-bikes’ project. The project developed out of an event which focused on encouraging more sustainable travel behaviour, habits and practices.