THE FUTURE is smart for a Stratford-based heritage bicycle manufacturer.
Pashley is Britain’s oldest bicycle maker and has literally built its reputation producing classic designs for the past 97 years.
But the firm is playing a major role in the growing sustainable transport market.
Smart technology is out to improve and grow the increasing number of public bike share schemes across the UK and in Europe – and it’s all about giving bikes a ‘brain’.
An increasing number of local authorities are introducing bike share schemes to reduce pollution and improve urban environments.
Pashley is already the manufacturer behind the award-winning schemes in London and the West Midlands, and it has now developed a ‘smart’ new approach, giving hire bikes a ‘brain’, so they can gather, communicate and receive data.
That places the intelligence in the bike, rather than the dock, meaning wired-in docks are no longer required. Instead, bikes connect to ‘the back office’ via an app.
And that makes bike hire schemes less complex and less expensive to install, because planning consent is not needed and roads do not have to be dug to lay wires.
The ‘intelligent’ bike locks into a special dock Pashley has developed, which sits on a platform that can be positioned in areas of greatest demand.
Bikes are not ‘free-floating’ as in many other schemes, often resulting in bikes littering the pavement. Instead, riders are encouraged to use the docks, which are simple to operate via a mobile phone app.
Pashley’s aim is to enable more people to cycle, whether commuting or for leisure.
Chairman Adrian Williams said: “By developing smarter technology, we can develop smarter schemes. Giving the ‘brains’ to the bikes means that docking stations become more flexible and can be provided at lower cost. It also supports sustainable transport, enabling more people to access and enjoy the benefits of cycling.
“For Pashley, having our own full bike share solution for 2024 opens up new opportunities for us in this market, particularly in the private sector, where we have seen a surge in interest from residential quarters and corporate fleets. Smart communications technology provides us with opportunities to grow and make the management of thousands of daily journeys on public hire bikes accurate and more efficient.”
Pashley entered the bike share sector in 2017 when it won the contract to design and manufacture the new ‘Boris bike’.
Pashley’s British designed and manufactured fleet bike is now seen on the streets of both London and the West Midlands, with tens of thousands of trips made on them every day.
The world of bike share is just one area in the rapidly growing sustainable transport market that Pashley is innovating in – with an award-winning e-cargo cycle also in production, and the launch of its first leisure e-bike on the cards for 2024.