Free Bikes for Stirling Residents through Bike Share


Update: Free rides extended until 31/07/2021.




A popular initiative making nextbike journeys free for Stirling residents has been extended until July 2021.


Since being introduced last summer to encourage safe active travel during the pandemic, locals have made over 20,000 trips and clocked up more than 38,000 km around the city.


Supported by Forth Environment Link and Cycling Scotland, the scheme was originally made free for locals thanks to £30,000 in funding from Transport Scotland. Additional funding was then awarded by Paths for All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Local Authority Fund, allowing Stirling Council to extend the free rides initiative until March 31. A further injection of this funding will see rentals remain free until June 2021. 


Stirling saw a dramatic increase in the number of people cycling across the city during the pandemic, with rates up 60 per cent in May 2020 compared to May 2019.*


Krysia Solheim, nextbike UK MD, said: “We’re really pleased that the scheme will be extended until June, thanks to funding awarded to Stirling Council from the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Local Authority Fund.


“It’s been an incredibly popular initiative, with Stirling cyclists riding almost the circumference of the globe since last June.


“There was huge rise in interest in cycling during the first lockdown, when there was less traffic on the streets and people were looking for a safe way to get around their towns and cities, and a safe way to exercise. We hope that by now, these habits will have become engrained for many people; and by extending the free rentals scheme, we hope that many more residents will take advantage of the offer.


“Our bikes are the perfect way to get around the city and by making small changes such as opting to take a nextbike instead of jumping in the car, our customers are helping to bring about positive changes that will lead to reduced congestion and CO2 levels, and will also help them to be fitter and healthier."


The free offer for Stirling residents applies to the first 30 minutes of every nextbike journey.


Stirling’s nextbike scheme includes 200 nextbikes, which are managed and maintained by a partnership between Forth Environment Link and Recyke-a-Bike.


Shirley Paterson, Active Travel Development Manager for Forth Environment Link said: “We’re heartened to see so many local people taking up cycling in the past year, making active travel choices that are good for them and the environment.


“We hope this latest funding boost as we head into the warmer months will encourage even more people to jump in the saddle and explore the city on two wheels as lockdown restrictions start to ease.”


Angela Barron, Chief Executive, Recyke-a-bike added: "This funding is particularly welcome during these challenging times, not only does it make low, carbon active travel accessible and affordable to all in Stirling, but it also supports local employment."


To use a nextbike, simply register with a debit or credit card on the nextbike app or at any nextbike station across the city. For security, there is a one-off, £5 fee to register, which is added to the account as a credit, the remaining which can be refunded when the account is closed.


More information can be read at:


Anyone without a bank card or who needs extra support registering can contact Forth Environment Link for assistance: email or 07923 277624.




Media contact:

Sarah Hughes




*Cycling Scotland’s nationwide network of cycle counters recorded a significant increase in people cycling during May 2020, with numbers up in one Stirling location by 61 per cent compared to this time last year.


How to sign up: 

  1. Download the 'nextbike' app to register (available on iOS and Android). Alternatively, you can do it on the nextbike website.
  2. Choose your city. Enter your phone number to receive a text with your account pin number. Don’t forget to accept T&Cs.
  3. Select ‘Menu’ (three dashes on the upper left corner).
  4. Select ‘Activate Account’.
  5. To activate your nextbike account you must complete the ‘Profile Fields’ and ‘Unlock Options’. Then, verify your account by clicking on the link sent to you by email.
  6. Enter your details in ‘Profile Fields’.
  7. Select ‘Unlock Options’ and select ‘Credit/debit card’. £5 credit will be taken as a security deposit and will be used to verify your account. If you want your £5 refunded to your bank account when you close down your account, please contact our Customer Service team on 020 8166 9851.  


Note: Anyone without a bank card or who needs extra support registering can contact Forth Environment Link for help: email or 07923 277624.


You are now ready to rent! 


  • If you are a Pay As You Ride user, rides over 30 minutes will be charged at the normal PAYR rate of £1 per 30 minutes. 

  • If you have already purchased a membership, rides over 60 minutes will be charged at the normal membership rate of £0.50 per 30 minutes. For more information about our memberships click here


Note: If you return your nextbike at an official station before your initial 30 minutes free are over, you can rent it again to get an additional 30 minutes free. To find the station map or for more information, open the nextbike app or visit our website.


How to use:

  • To rent: The easiest way to rent is via the app! Open the nextbike app and scan the QR code on the bike or enter the bike number. Alternatively, follow the instructions in the terminal or call our hotline (020 8166 9851). You will receive a code for the combination lock, the nextbike will be released and your rental will begin.
  • To park temporarily: Lock the nextbike to a bike stand with the combination lock. To continue the ride, unlock the combination lock and continue cycling.
  • To return: Push the bike into a dock at an official station. The green light indicates a successful return. If there are no docks available when arriving at a station, place the bike directly next to the station. Lock the bike using the combination lock and confirm via the app, hotline or terminal.


Note: To correctly return a nextbike you must return it to an official station. Any nextbike returned outside an official station will be subject to a £10 fine. This will increase to £20 for a second offence and £30 for the third offence. If a customer returns a bike incorrectly more than three times, their account will be shut down.