Council deal brings SMART cycling corridor closer to reality

The UK’s first SMART cycling corridor has moved a step closer with the announcement that Llama Digital will be the Isle of Wight Council’s partner organisation tasked with boosting cycle usage between Cowes and Newport by using innovative digital technology.

The project will include a new Bicycle Island app which will enable participants to challenge monthly distance targets and unlock support for local charity campaigns. Cyclists will also be able to find virtual offers placed along the route, and discover seasonal information about the rich wildlife and fascinating history of this stretch of the River Medina.

The SMART cycling corridor is one of 11 projects being delivered by the council through its Sustainable Travel Transition Year programme, using external funding secured competitively from the Department for Transport.

Isle of Wight Council Executive member for environment, sustainability and local engagement, Councillor Paul Fuller, said: “This is a ground-breaking project for the UK and will create a truly interactive experience for users. I hope that the SMART cycling corridor will encourage more visitors, residents and employers to choose a cycling commute as a healthy and sustainable alternative to driving.

SMART technology is increasingly becoming a bigger part of our lives and has the potential to improve sustainability on a number of fronts such as transport, health and leisure and this project will go a long way in helping to build a brighter future in the Island.”

The project has been inspired by the growth of SMART cities in recent years, which integrate multiple information and communication technology solutions.

Although initially to be designed for the popular Cowes to Newport route, which already generates 110,000 annual cycling trips, the SMART cycling corridor could, in future years, be replicated for other Island routes and potentially other parts of the UK.

More information can be found at www.bicycleislandapp.co.uk.

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