With only a day left for Brunel in its bid to bring a new 'Boris Bike' scheme to campus, the university is in a strong position – but every additional pound pledged will boost its chances of success.
Brunel University London, along with Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are currently taking on the Santander University Cycle Challenge – a new scheme which will see UK two universities provided with their own fleet bikes.
The challenge sees five universities vying for a capital investment worth over £100,000, with funding going to the two institutions that are able to crowdfund the scheme’s running costs soonest. Brunel is aiming to secure one of the top two spots, and has its sights on a 'stretch target' of £75,000. The funding window closes on 8 December.
If Brunel and its local partners are successful, docking stations with payment points will be installed at several locations on campus, with further stations made available near Uxbridge station in the town centre, and outside Hillingdon Hospital.
50 bikes would initially be available under the scheme, which it’s hoped will increase cycling between the three locations, taking cars off the road and helping people stay fit.
Substantial pledges have already been received from the Union of Brunel Students, Brunel’s cleaning contractors Hayward Services and caterers Chartwells Taste Kingdom, together with the following corporate partners and supporters: Asbestos Solution Providers, Bowyers Office Equipment & Interiors, Fresh Bite, Grundon Waste Management, Heathrow, Kendall Kingscott, London Cycling Campaign, More Energy, Office Depot, Palcon, Ricoh, Uxbridge BID, West Trans and WT Partnership.
Deputy Vice Chancellor at Brunel University, Professor Bill Leahy, said: “The benefits that cycling brings to our health are obvious, but this scheme is more than that – it’s an opportunity to connect the university, the hospital and the rest of the town in a way that can only benefit the whole community.
“The competition is fierce, but I think Uxbridge has what it takes to make this amazing opportunity happen.”
Heathrow’s Sustainable Transport Manager, Theo Panayi, said: “Brunel University London have made a remarkable effort in their campaign to secure a Santander Bike Scheme.
“They have set the wheels in motion on a project that would provide tens of thousands of residents and visitors with access to carbon-free, affordable transport, which is something that we at Heathrow are very passionate about. We hope our donation will help to get Brunel and the communities of Uxbridge and Hillingdon across the line.”
If Brunel is successful, a contract will be drawn up with the scheme provider, nextbike, and the docking station and bikes will be installed in early Spring 2018.
Union of Brunel Students President Pauldy Otermans said: "This is a chance for us to make real change, not just for our students, but for our entire community. The university is completely behind it, so let's get these bikes to Uxbridge!"
To support Brunel’s bid, visit the ‘Brunel Bike’ Crowdfunder page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/brunelbikes
Tim Pilgrim, Media Relations
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