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Liverpool's CityBike scheme and Brighton's Lewes Road project scoop Smarter Travel Awards

Other shortlisted entries at inaugural event included Bath's SmartBike cycle hire scheme...

Liverpool City Council’s Citybike cycle hire scheme and Brighton & Hove City Council’s Lewes Road Improvement scheme have both won awards at the inaugural Smarter Travel Awards, held in Birmingham this week.

In winning the Best Shared Mobility provider category, Liverpool beat two other shortlisted projects, Bath’s Nextbike cycle hire scheme and the Linlithgow Plus+ rewards scheme.

Brighton & Hove meanwhile scooped the prize in the Most Improved Journey to Work Award category, sponsored by Sustrans.

The other shortlisted projects for that award were Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit from First Hampshire, and North Somerset Council’s King's Ferry Commuter Coach.

Former world and Olympic champion Chris Boardman, now policy adviser at British Cycling, helped launch the Liverpool scheme last year.

The council’s cycling officer, Karen Stevens, told its Liverpool Express news website: “We are thrilled the judges have recognised how Citybike has quickly become an established, popular cycle hire scheme which is really changing how people move around Liverpool.”

Hourbike’s managing director Tim Caswell added: “We installed our first 100 stations ahead of schedule and since we started there have been 35,000 Citybike hires in Liverpool.

“Citybike has become part of the city and that is how these schemes become successful in changing attitudes to travel.”

The £4 million Lewes Road improvement scheme saw a 4.5k kilometre dual carriageway transformed into a single carriageway road plus bus lane and a newly widened cycle lane.

It has resulted in the numbers of cyclists and bus passengers along the route growing by 14 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, reports The Argus.

Lead member for transport Councillor Ian Davey said: “One of the main aims of the Lewes Road scheme is to make sustainable forms of transport more attractive, where it is a practical option for those concerned.

He added:“Although the scheme has only been in place for a short period, the initial monitoring is very positive.”

Cyclists have been less impressed with some features of the scheme, however. The cycle lane was branded a “death trap” in December after a number of riders crashed due to a hidden kerb.

The council has put temporary remedial works in place and as we reported last month is seeking a permanent solution.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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