Cycling and e-scooters

Did you know…? 

Being shut inside a car may leave you exposed to almost eight times more air pollution than a cyclist is (Friends of the Earth).

Cycling can boost your immune system, improve fitness, joint mobility, muscle strength and boost brain function - not to mention save money! Sustrans have set out the five ways that walking and cycling can help to protect the environment.

Cycle schemes

University Cycle Scheme: The University offers a salary sacrifice scheme to enable staff to obtain bicycles and related equipment, saving money on tax and National Insurance payments – find out more.

Get on Transport for West Midlands bikes: Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has launched West Midlands Cycle Hire, a new bike share scheme for the region. They launched in Birmingham on 24 May and it costs £1 to unlock a bike then 5p per minute of cycling after that. They also offer bundles of minutes for regular users. Download the Beryl cycle hire app to use the scheme.

Brompton Docks: You can hire a Brompton bike from as little as £3.50 a day from one of the Brompton Docks around Birmingham City Centre.

Free Daily Bike Hire: Free daily bike hire is available to anyone with a Birmingham City Council Leisure Card at some cycle centres. Find out more here.

BCU cycling facilities

Check out our Interactive Map showing locations of cycle parking, lockers, showers and water fountains.

Bicycle User Group

Join the BCU BUG! We have set up a Bicycle User Group on MS Teams; a place to share information and offer support to BCU staff and student cyclists, and potential cyclists. Use the group to discuss cycling-related issues, including advice on commuting, leisure routes, facilities and events.

Cycling advice and training

For advice on commuting by bike, watch the online seminar that Cycling UK delivered for BCU. It includes advice on the practicalities of cycling in an urban environment, such as road positioning, bike set-up and equipment basics. You can also watch their webinars on the following topics:

Some great tips for commuting by bike can be found in the British Cycling commuter e-book and their Commute Smart videos. The Birmingham City Council Winter Cycling Guide has some useful advice to stay safe in the saddle during winter.

Brum by Bike

Ecobirmingham’s Brum by Bike initiative aims to get more people to cycle for everyday journeys and help them realise the possibilities and the fun that comes with travelling by bike.

They offer a range of cycling tuition for all abilities and helpful tips and advice:

The following organisations may be able to offer cycle training:

Route planning, local cycle paths and facilities

  • Find information on Cycling in Birmingham, including bike shops and cycling hubs here.
  • Brum by Bike have some useful information about cycle routes in Birmingham.
  • Some bike shops accept a student discount, so be sure to check in store!
  • Check out second-hand bike shops in Birmingham such as the Birmingham Bike Foundry
  • Download the App - CycleStreets cycle journey planner and photomap.
  • Download the App - Komoot navigation that gives numerous options for reaching your destination.
  • Download the App - ViewRanger’s GPS with downloadable global maps.

Blue A34 Cycle Route

The new, blue surfaced route from Birchfield (Heathfield Road) to the city centre provides a wide, two-way cycle route along the A34, which is separated from other traffic wherever possible. In the city centre, the blue route ends on James Watt Queensway opposite Aston University, near to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. From here, other off road cycle routes can be used to reach the the City Centre Campus.

Download an A34 cycle route map. Consultation is already taking place to extend this route further to Alexander Stadium.

Blue A38 Cycle Route

This surfaced cycle route along the Bristol Road route runs from Selly Oak to the city centre. You can download a map from here.

Canal Paths

Our City Centre Campus is located just off the Digbeth Branch Canal, and 50km of canal towpath has been resurfaced to make it easier to cycle along. The canal also runs near our City South Campus (which runs next to the train line from Five Ways): Download the canal route maps.

Share your views

Birmingham City Council have delivered a range of emergency transport measures to support cycling and walking. Comment on these measures and suggest other improvements.

Cycle safety and security

  • Unless part of the University BikeScheme, take out an insurance policy for your bike.
  • Get a good quality bike lock, such as a D lock.
  • Lock your bike in a well-lit area and in one of the secure cycle parking facilities provided.
  • Use your safety equipment, wear reflective clothing and maintain your lights.
  • Service your bike at least annually.
  • Carry a puncture kit and bike pump.

Cycling clubs and group rides

Brum by Bike have pulled together information about the many community cycling clubs in Birmingham.

Cocycle

Cocycle (previously called Two Wheels Better) is a community group and cycling buddy scheme. It pairs people up who are cycling the same or similar routes, for social reasons and personal safety. They run a peer network in Birmingham to help new and returning cyclists find their wheels by buddying them with regular riders.

British Cycling

British Cycling offer a range of free guided rides through their Let’s Ride programme, to encourage everyone to try bike riding in the comfort of small groups, including families, children and young people, first timers and those returning to bike riding.

Rides are led by qualified Volunteer UK Guided Ride Leaders on routes between 2 – 30 miles on traffic free routes and suburban roads. Find a guided ride near you.

The platform also features Breeze rides - a free guided ride programme for women by women, to reduce the gap of three times more men currently cycling than women in Great Britain.

Love to Ride

Join the BCU Love to Ride group and log your rides. The platform is great for avid cyclists, those thinking about it and everyone in between. They run competitions and campaigns throughout the year with some great prizes, including Bike Month in June and Cycle September. There are separate student and staff listings so make sure you join the right one when you register.

Events

Check out our events page for events such as Dr Bike Sessions, bike maintenance or second hand bike sales.

E-scooters

An e-scooter trial is taking place across Birmingham, operated by Swedish company Voi. The trial covers the city centre as well as areas in south west and north Birmingham, including our City Centre and City South Campuses. The e-scooters cost £1 to unlock and 20p per minute to ride. Students and higher education staff are eligible for a discount of 20% when using e-scooters. Find out more and apply for the discount here.

Safety
E-scooters are allowed on roads that are 30mph or less, but are not allowed on pavements. You can ride in bicycle lanes and are encouraged to plan your route in advance. The scooters operate between 6am and 10pm. Riders need a provisional or full driving licence to unlock an e-scooter and must be over 18 years old.

The e-scooters are programmed to adhere to specific rules, which automatically slow down in certain areas, don’t allow them to enter some areas, and encourage people to park in specific parking zones.

While not compulsory, it’s advised to wear a helmet while using an e-scooter.

We recommend taking the online e-scooter school, Ride Like Voila. It is the first-ever e-scooter school and takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Completing this will earn £5 in credits, which is equivalent to approximately 20 minutes of free riding.

Find out more and see more safety information on the Voi website.

Brompton pool bike scheme

A limited number of foldable Brompton bikes are available for students and staff to loan for a period of 12 weeks for free.Contact us if you are interested in borrowing a bike to see if it suits your commute. Please note, the scheme is currently on hold, but we can still add you to the waiting list.

You can also hire a Brompton bike from as little as £3.50 a day from one of the Brompton Docks around Birmingham City Centre.