Ealing Council and its subsidiary housing company, Broadway Living, are carrying out a major transformation of Copley Close. The new Copley will have homes for council rent, private sale, discounted market rent and shared ownership. Regardless of tenure, all the homes will be well-proportioned and be designed to the same high specification. Copley Close will remain entirely in public ownership. On hearing of this initiative, Brompton wanted to create something to match the ambition of the Council.
Cycling is often perceived as a middle-class hobby, rather than what it is; an inexpensive, accessible and environmentally responsible method of travel. Brompton are committing to change the way we move around cities.
Julian Scriven of Brompton Bike Hire was inspired by the example of Ealing Council at Copley Close, where their aim is to break down the barriers between different types of housing to build a more integrated community. Taking this as a starting point, he created a solution that will be accessible to all segments of the community and hopefully create a new generation of cyclists in West London.
Brompton has installed a Bike Hire dock at the natural entry and exit point to the Copley Close scheme. As the development grows, the dock will be relocated to integrate with the community hub planned for the centre of site.
Brompton understand there are already several barriers that make people resistant to trying cycling. Bike Hire overcomes the issue of owning a bike, which is seen as an investment and a commitment people are unwilling to make until they have tried cycling. The other common barrier is membership costs, since the cost per trip/days rental is often inversely proportional the annual fee.
All Copley Close residents in social and affordable housing are provided with free access to the premium membership. This will enable these residents to hire the bikes for the lowest possible day rate (£3.50/day), without having to pay an annual fee. This will be supported by regular cycling experience days held at Copley Close to provide the residents with the confidence to start riding.
The Copley Close dock was installed in October of 2019. However, this is only the start, as projects like this sit at the heart of our campaign for movement. We would like to invite local authorities to reach out to deliver similar or even more ambitious projects. To genuinely create modal shift away from cars and toward cycling, we must make cycling more accessible and break the stereotype of it being a middle-class hobby.