Invitation to Tender: Supply of Inner Forth Bike Bus Service Operation

The RSPB wishes to commission an operator with two minibuses to run a one day per week seasonal circular minibus with trailer service for walkers and cyclists in the Inner Forth area. 

After an initial service development phase between November 2023 and March 2024, the Inner Forth Bike Bus service will be contracted to operate for two pilot seasons: from April to October 2024 and from April to October 2025. 

This transport service aims to facilitate landscape exploration by visitors in the Inner Forth area. The proposed Inner Forth Bike Bus service sits within the Climate FORTH: ‘Furthering Our Resilience Through Heritage’ project as part of a wider suite of activities that will enhance the sustainable tourism infrastructure and provision within the Inner Forth area and support the local economy. The Climate FORTH project has been devised by the Inner Forth Futures initiative for which RSPB act as secretariat.

The transport service will consist of two minibuses (supplied by the Operator) equipped with bike trailers operating on a circular route. The trailers will be lent by the RSPB to the Operator for the duration of the contract. The two bike trailers provided (unbraked, under 750kg Maximum Gross Weight) will be designed to safely carry between 8 and 16 “standard” bicycles and electric bicycles and will be adjustable to safely carry 1-2 non-standard cycles, with the aim of encouraging inclusive cycling. 

The two vehicles will run simultaneously, in opposite directions (clockwise and anticlockwise) on a circular route between Alloa and the Forth Road Bridge, with stops that link and facilitate access to lesser-known heritage sites, walking and cycling routes, and link active travel hubs. The transport service will run on a fixed timetable with the option to book in advance. The transport service will be available to users free of charge.

This is a two-phased contract. During the first phase, the operator will work with the Climate FORTH Team to refine and finalise the operational points of the Inner Forth Bike Bus Service. Upon completion of phase 1, the successful operator will be awarded phase 2 (service delivery), subject to agreement of the operational points. 

The successful candidate must hold a valid Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators’ licence and demonstrate previous experience in delivering similar transport services.  

Thanks to Lottery players, these works are funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Crown Estate via Fife Council. 

Your tender response should be emailed to or uploaded to Public Contracts Scotland by 10am on Monday 13th November 2023.

Full details can be found in the downloads provided below:
Download Invitation to Tender - Inner Forth Bike Bus - Word version.docx

Download Invitation to Tender - Inner Forth Bike Bus - PDF version.pdf

and on Public Contracts Scotland (ref:OCT490128)