A recently published document outlines successful bids for funds to further promote electric bike uptake in various local authorities. Amongst those, £250K has been allocated to both Leicester City Council and Norfolk County Council, while Birmingham City Council will use £199k to increase the availability of e-bikes and adapted e-bikes through a range of local providers.
Discount vouchers for £300 off an e-bike will be available for Leicestershire residents signing up to a training course on sustainable travel.
Leicestershire’s county council is encouraging active travel through their sustainable travel team by holding drop-in events where residents can find out more about e-bikes and try one out before claiming the £300 off voucher to be spent at local participating e-bike retailers.
‘Choose How You Move’ – the name of the sustainable travel team initiative – are visiting several venues and parks across Leicestershire in July and say the discount voucher can be applied to any type of electric bike from folding to e-cargo or a specialised bike for those with accessibility needs.
Leicester council is also offering free and discounted access to their Santander Cycles e-bike share scheme for key workers, young jobseekers and those with disabilities whilst expanding their ‘Wheels to Work Scheme’ loan fleet to encourage as many as possible to take up active travel in the area.
Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor for environment and transport, said: “Our new ebike share scheme, Santander Cycles Leicester, has had a really successful start, with more than 10,000 trips made so far. This additional funding from the Department for Transport will allow us to introduce even more people to the scheme.
“We’ll also be using the money to provide more people with ebikes on loan so that they can choose active travel for their commute, and we’ll be making cycling more inclusive through our free training and try-out events.”
The £250K awarded to Norfolk Country Council will boost the number of electric bikes available through the on-street Beryl hire scheme, whilst also expanding the area covered.
In Birmingham, the Active Wellbeing Society will receive nine e-bikes for their ‘cycling on prescription’ scheme. The scheme links the use of e-bikes to health benefits by working with local GPs to provide training and e-bikes to people with long-term health conditions, whilst E-Bike Brum will have an additional six e-bikes to lease to people living in deprived local areas and who would otherwise not have access to cycling.
On announcing the funds, Cycling Minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “As we build back greener from the pandemic, this Government is committed to enabling as many people as possible to boost their health and fitness and help reduce emissions by hopping on a bike and taking up cycling for shorter journeys.
“Today’s announcement will help make this happen, with a total of £1.48 million going towards fantastic initiatives in areas right across the country to promote the use of e-cycles. So whether you’re new to cycling, or would like to try a cycle that does some of the legwork for you, these initiatives will help more people to have access to active forms of travel.”