Bicycle and Car Share Schemes as Inclusive Modes of Travel? A Socio-Spatial Analysis in Glasgow, UK

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Bicycle and Car Share Schemes as Inclusive Modes of Travel? A Socio-Spatial Analysis in Glasgow, UK


  • Julie Clark Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Angela Curl Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, UK


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Abstract:  Public bicycle and car sharing schemes have proliferated in recent years and are increasingly part of the urban transport landscape. Shared transport options have the potential to support social inclusion by improving accessibility: these initiatives could remove some of the barriers to car ownership or bicycle usage such as upfront costs, maintenance and storage. However, the existing evidence base indicates that, in reality, users are most likely to be white, male and middle class. This paper argues that there is a need to consider the social inclusivity of sharing schemes and to develop appropriate evaluation frameworks accordingly. We therefore open by considering ways in which shared transport schemes might be inclusive or not, using a framework developed from accessibility planning. In the second part of the paper, we use the case study of Glasgow in Scotland to undertake a spatial equity analysis of such schemes. We examine how well they serve different population groups across the city, using the locations of bicycle stations and car club parking spaces in Glasgow, comparing and contrasting bike and car. An apparent failure to deliver benefits across the demographic spectrum raises important questions about the socially inclusive nature of public investment in similar schemes.

Published:   7 June 2016


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v4i3.510


© Julie Clark, Angela Curl. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.