Love to Ride Southampton: the story so far...

For the past six years, My Journey has been supporting residents, workplaces and schools across Hampshire to discover the benefits of sustainable travel and do their bit to tackle congestion, poor air quality and physical inactivity.

Southampton City Council has identified cycling as a key way to confront these challenges and adopted a Cycling Strategy in late 2017, setting out ambitious plans to invest over £25m in cycling in the city over a ten year period. Already over £3m has been spent on new facilities, cycle routes and connectivity across the city with a further £5.3m due to be spent in the coming year.

This investment is complemented by the My Journey programme which provides a package of sustainable travel support and incentives, including the recently introduced partnership with Love to Ride in August 2018.

Love to Ride play a key part in our plans to develop Southampton into a true cycling city. This programme has already created a vibrant online community for existing and new cyclists where they can encourage one another and share their experiences of cycling in Southampton. We’re looking forward to continuing our successful partnership with Love to Ride and their Ride to Work Week promotion, as part of our upcoming Move in March campaign”.    Neil Tuck, Sustainable City Team Leader, Southampton City Council

Our first dual campaign was Love to Ride’s National Cycle Challenge – Cycle September. The level of uptake was excellent and to date over 1,000 people have registered with Love to Ride, including nearly 200 new riders. In the first six months alone, the Love to Ride partnership has already engaged 58 organisations, each one with a cycle champion in place to promote cycling as a great way to get from A to B in and around Southampton.

Findings from Cycle September

The above table shows the ‘main mode of travel’ in Southampton – broken down by rider frequency. With 42% of new riders driving alone as their main mode of moving around the city, this alone represents an excellent opportunity for our partnership with Love to Ride to really make a big and lasting difference.

Other findings and insights from Cycle September:

  • 91% of new riders and 55% of occasional riders reported an intention to increase how often they ride compared to 12 months before Cycle September (2018)

  • 27% of regular riders reported they intend to be riding more than they did before Cycle September (2018)

  • The main benefits participants wanted to gain from riding a bike were improved fitness; 76%, to save money; 45% and to enjoy the outdoors; 45%

  • The main 3 barriers participants felt prior to taking part in the challenge were the weather not being good (51%), not knowing a safe route (23%) and no showers at work (19%)

Our next joint intervention with Love to Ride is Ride to Work Week. This forms part of our Move in March campaign which is inspiring people to walk and cycle through a programme of free events, our new walking app in partnership with Go Jauntly and – of course – the Love to Ride cycling app.

Riding to work, or part of the way, has significant benefits that make people happier, healthier and wealthier. Working with our Travel Team, Sustrans officers and our many other stakeholders, champions and businesses across Southampton, Love to Ride will be helping to release the many benefits of the cycle commute to employers and employees alike.

Would you like to see more people cycling where you are?

Love to Ride work with cities, regions and entire countries right around the world. As a Bristol-based social business, the team partner with collaborators and advocacy groups to tap into local expertise, using their proven web platform and Ride365 programmes to effect positive change, one bike at a time.

For more information and to discuss working with Love to Ride where you are, email hello@lovetoride.net or take a peek at partners.lovetoride.net