An e-bike loan scheme, run by Sustrans, aims to increase active travel options for local residents in the areas of Rhyl, Swansea, Newtown and Barry covered by the scheme’s initial roll out.
The scheme is aimed at residents who either don’t cycle regularly or find the purchase cost a barrier to trying them.
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “We want walking and cycling to become the normal choice for shorter journeys because active travel is not only better for our environment, but also for our health and economy. We know that this will involve a huge cultural change and that’s why we’re investing in schemes like the electric bike pilot to help people who have never cycled before to make a change to the way they travel in an affordable and sustainable way.”
Residents trying the loaned e-bikes have shared their experiences, saying: “Living in Old Colwyn I would normally drive to work which due to the busy roads, particularly in the summer months, takes much longer than it should. So when I was offered the opportunity to loan an electric bike to cycle to work I snapped it up.
“The north Wales coastal path is a simple ride from Old Colwyn to Rhyl with some breathtaking views along the way, views I didn’t get to appreciate when I was driving. It’s not only saved me time and given me a better work-life balance, but has been great for my health and wellbeing too. I have started to lose weight and have noticeably gained fitness – so it’s a win-win!
“There’s no need to worry if you’re a novice to cycling either. The bike is easy to operate and thanks to the electric aspect, hills are a doddle, but you still get exercise from peddling. Also the spacious bag strapped to the side of the bike provides ample space for all my work stuff and I even have space left to bring home some shopping at the end of the day.”
A retiree added: “I’ve had the bike for two weeks and I’ve already cycled 130 miles. It’s addictive! I love the feeling of riding the electric bike and I feel much safer than when riding a normal bike, especially when out riding alone. I have found that I have drastically reduced my car use, which has saved me a lot of money on fuel costs already. “