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March 16, 2022 3 min read

Logo credit : Active Essex LDP, ECC & Essex Pedal Power

Essex Pedal Power

For the 22% of the UK population living in poverty, the choice to be able to cycle is beyond their financial means. Successful behaviour change requires barriers like cost to be removed, and opportunity to be provided to build confidence and motivation to enable new behaviours to be sustained. This support package and lasting change needs significant investment in order to support equitable uptake in cycling. 

Essex Pedal Power is an inclusive programme which aims to make cycling accessible for everyone, by providing free bikes to increase; access to employment, education, key local services and physical activity rates. The scheme is being piloted in the seaside towns of Jaywick and Clacton and will provide 1,300 bikes to residents living in areas of deprivation, who do little or no physical activity. The package of bikes, training support and infrastructure improvements is being rolled out over 2 years, with plans to expand across the county. 

The project parters include; Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot, Essex County Council, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Tendring District Council, Sport England, Cycling UK, Raleigh and See.Sense. The programme has received significant investment from Sport England and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. See.Sense are working with Essex Pedal power to collect valuable data in order to monitor and evaluate the project, which if successful will roll out across the county, with interest nationally in the approach. 

See.Sense and Essex Pedal Power are working together to use patented data capture technology to track the free bikes usage, including; the number of rides, distances, average speeds, routes, CO2 saved and active minutes of riders. The data will be collected over 2 years and will form the basis of the cost benefit analysis in order to get a wider demographic of the population cycling.  


Picture credit: Active Essex LDP, ECC and Essex Pedal Power

Before being given away, bikes are being fitted with See.Sense’s patented SUMMIT (Sensor Unlocked Micro-Mobility Insight Technology) tracking solution, which is powered directly by a dynamo wheel. This removes the need for participants to charge the device, to manually report usage or have access to a smartphone which we know is a barrier for data collection. The devices use the state of the art LPWA network to wirelessly send large amounts of data into the cloud (our devices collect up to 800 sensor readings per second) that is validated and fed into the Essex Pedal Power Dashboard. Here they can view near real time maps of where bikes are located, along with overlaid key stats for the bike. Data is aggregated and anonymised and will be building not only rider use data but additional data about swerving, braking, destination and popular routes, dwell time and road surface, including usage of the bikes on the newly improved cycle route connecting the two seaside resorts and rail station.

The project is already having a positive impact on local people including Max, a bike recipient, volunteer bike builder and ride leader, helping more people to take up cycling in his community- read his full story here.

The project has recently celebrated its first anniversary and has been able to use the data collected so far to inform cycle parking infrastrure planning and is currently looking other applications. Sensor data insights were presented at the Cycle City, Active City Conference in 2022. The project has secured additional funding and will be expanding into other areas of the county in 2023.

Our partnership with Essex Pedal Power and other organisations like them, are collecting the quantitative evidence base needed for Active Travel Projects. 

"Our participants don’t have to manually do anything other than ride their bikes, so we are getting 100% of all ride data automatically, which really is a game changer. With our dashboard we can follow up with anyone whose riding drops off to offer additional support, which is helping to embed behaviour change." - Kerry McDonald, Essex County Council


Picture credit: Active Essex LDP, ECC and Essex Pedal Power


To find out how See.Sense technology and data services can help with your behaviour change monitoring and evaluation requirements please email and a member of our team will be in touch.


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