BTN BikeShare is kindly supporting Rider Spoke by Blast Theory as part of Brighton Festival this May. We speak to Matthew Thompson, BTN BikeShare Manager at Brighton & Hove City Council about the theme of care and their involvement with Brighton Festival.
As the theme of this year’s Festival is care, how does BTN Bikes help to care for the city and the Brighton community?
In 2020, the UK BikeShare accreditation body survey of our users found that 55% say they cycle more often because of the scheme. Top reasons for joining the scheme include fun and fresh air, time-saving and easier journeys, but users also say the physical and mental health benefits are also a major draw. 24% said their last BikeShare journey would previously have been done by car as a driver or passenger.
What’s so special about having your business located in Brighton & Hove?
BTN BikeShare is a publicly owned asset, operated for the Council by locally-owned BikeShare operator Hourbike. The scheme has been there for people during good times and bad over the last year of the pandemic. Nearly 70% of users agree that providing BikeShare alongside public transport makes public transport more attractive to use. They see BikeShare as an integral part of the city’s public transport infrastructure.
What event are you sponsoring in the Festival and what’s your involvement?
Rider Spoke by Blast Theory. BTN BikeShare will provide bikes free of charge for audience members who do not have their own bikes to ride the trail around the city which is an integral part of the show.
Why did you decide to get involved in the festival and what do you enjoy most about it?
Rider Spoke has involved other BikeShare schemes in other cities, and the format is a natural fit. We want to support local artists and Blast Theory is based here in Brighton. Brighton Festival is a Brighton & Hove institution we want to support this year as part of the City’s recovery from the pandemic. Every year the festival brings people onto the streets as the colder weather ends, reminding us all that, public space on our streets is about so much more than motorised vehicles.
What are you hoping people will enjoy most about the event you’re involved with?
We hope the audience enjoy the fact that BikeShare gives people without bikes access to cycling, and how much the cycle network has changed and grown during the pandemic. We hope they will discover new spaces and routes and be reminded of the sheer joy of cycling as they cycle along with the Rider Spoke storyline.