A bike hire scheme, more rickshaws, cargo bikes and an electric shuttle service is set to be trialled in Shrewsbury following a successful funding bid.
Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership has secured more than £340,000 of UK Government funding for the ‘On Your Bike’ project which will see a range of active travel options coming to Shrewsbury town centre.
The funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will enable the partnership to introduce an exciting new bike hire scheme to Shrewsbury, along with cargo bikes for deliveries, more cycle storage and trialling a small six-seater electric vehicle shuttle service.
Depending on feedback and level of demand, these initiatives could then develop and expand in the future.
Seb Slater, of Shrewsbury BID, which makes up the Big Town Plan Partnership with Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council, said it was an exciting development.
“We are absolutely delighted to have received significant funding for the On Your Bike project, which will have a really positive impact on Shrewsbury as a whole,” he said.
“Details of the project are being finalised, but the bike hire scheme will involve up to 30 bikes being easily accessible to members of the public.
“It will be an easy-to-use system and the technology involved will ensure that bikes are available in suitable designated areas.
“The funding will also be used to improve cycle storage, as well as providing cargo bikes for businesses to trial their use for deliveries, and a small electronic vehicle which is likely to be used to trial a shuttle service circulating around the town centre.
“It’s really exciting and gives more options for how people and businesses can move in and around Shrewsbury.”
Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership is due to launch a new movement and public space strategy, called Shrewsbury Moves, in the new year. The strategy will outline a range of proposals for how through-traffic can be reduced and the town centre environment improved over the next 10 years.
Councillor Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s representative on the Big Town Plan Partnership, said: “This funding announcement comes at the perfect time as it will provide practical improvements for active travel opportunities in Shrewsbury.
“The whole aim of the movement and public space strategy is to take a fresh look at traffic and travel in Shrewsbury, and we will be asking the public for their views in the new year.
“In the meantime, we are really looking forward to seeing the new bike hire scheme and the raft of exciting improvements which will be delivered through the On Your Bike project over the coming months.”
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council and member of the Big Town Plan Partnership board, said: “This is fantastic news for residents, businesses and visitors alike, and represents the first step in transforming how we get around our wonderful town.
“Being able to get onto a bike, an electric vehicle shuttle service or a rickshaw will enable more people to either leave their car at home or park on the edge of town rather than having to drive right into the town centre.
“This will help reduce the amount of through traffic and improve the whole experience of spending time in the town centre, which will be positive for everyone.”
The overall budget for the On Your Bike project is £490,034. The project has received £343,024 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. £147,010 is being match-funded by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership.