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Making Your Museum Cycle-Friendly

In this blog Victoria Hawkins, MGS Quality Assurance Manager, gives tops tips to make your museum cycle- friendly.

The pandemic has seen a cycling boom, with cycling up 300% on pre-Covid levels and cycle sales increasing by 63%. The demographic of who cycles has changed too, as more women and families opt for this growing and sustainable transport. So, with a broader range of people cycling and a need to reduce Scotland’s transport emissions, how can museums welcome these visitors?

  1. Support local cycle infrastructure and campaigns. Museums stand to gain from cycle-friendly infrastructure like 20 minute neighbourhoods, as key public services that support a sense of community and a higher quality of life.
  2. Update visitor information on your website to prioritise getting to the museum by bicycle. Easy, accessible information on sustainable transport options challenges perceptions and breaks down barriers to access.
  3. Create a welcome arrival – the type of cycle parking you provide can either encourage or put off visitors from cycling to your museum. Good facilities that secure the bicycle and protect it from damage are key. ‘Sheffield’ stands are common and don’t bend or damage wheels, they’re also easy to maintain.
  4. Encourage diversity! Different bicycles support different users – tandems, trikes, hand-cycles and family bikes increase accessibility to a broader range of visitors, so provide facilities for these visitors too. It’s not just about physical accessibility either, cycling was the only activity to increase amongst the 20% most deprived households between 2013-2019.
  5. Locate cycle parking at your entrance, in public view. Making them covered will win you extra points, especially in our Scottish climate!
  6. Be generous. Consider your visitor numbers and enable 10% of visitors to arrive by bike when providing cycle parking. One car parking space can provide 6-12 spaces for cycles so the level of provision may take up less space than you think.
  7. Check for gaps – a weak link in your local cycling infrastructure can prevent visitors from choosing to cycle but can also be simple to fix. Check final junctions on approach to your museum and/or whether a short extension to a designated cycle route could bring visitors to your door. This is especially important for 12-18 year olds, who are building independence but can’t yet drive. The Cycling Friendly Community Development Fund can provide up to £20k towards cycling improvements and ScotRail’s Cycle Fund supports connections between stations and town centres.
  8. Cater for cyclists. Food is fuel and cyclists need plenty!
  9. Promote yourself on Good Journey, the car-free visitor attraction website.
  10. Learn more at Cycling ScotlandPaths for All and Sustrans Scotland, including more funding options available to support active travel and infrastructure.