In order to reduce inconvenience for travellers during road works at the provincial N302, the province of Gelderland and Harderwijk local authorities provided a temporary bicycle Park & Ride, with parking spaces and a locked bicycle parking facility. Participants in the project can park their cars and transfer to a bicycle. Participants receive a bicycle on loan. When this is used for at least three days a week, participants may keep the bicycle. The bicycle project started in early April of 2009 with 150 participants, for the duration of the road works scheduled to be finished by the middle of 2010.
A survey among participants shows the facility to be rated 7.7 out of 10 on average. Respondents (60% male, 40% female) state the delays caused by the work to be the main incentive to transfer to a bicycle. Even more than the fact that the bicycle is free. Health reasons are an additional factor. But when questioned specifically about the ‘free’ bicycle as a motive to participate, 69% indicate they would not have participated if the bicycle had not been offered as a reward.
Slightly over half of all (53%) say they expect to continue to use the Park & Ride. Those indicating they will probably not continue to use the Park & Ride (47%) are nearly all motivated by travel times. The car is faster, they reckon, and it is to be expected that after completion of the road works traffic circulation on the N302 will be improved.
Based on the user survey VCC Oost, conducting the study, feels the results may seem to indicate that without the urgency of road works a bicycle Park & Ride may also have a chance to succeed when a combination with health factors is sought, as well as a free bicycle. However, a suitable site should meet a number of criteria:
- The road by car is free of congestion all the way to the Park & Ride;
- The site is not isolated;
- Optimal cycling infrastructure in the vicinity;
- At cycling distance (preferably < 3 km) of place of work (industrial estate);
- Logical location between home and work;
- The site is owned by local or provincial authorities;
- Maybe joint use with currently available (parking) facilities;
- Few or no facilities for public transport available.