Cycling UK is set to offer free e-cycle loans across pilot areas in England as part of an £8 million investment from the Department for Transport.
This investment will enable Cycling UK to launch ‘Cycling made e-asy’, an innovative new pilot programme focusing on electric cycles, making them freely available for people who would not normally consider cycling.
The initiative is being launched in five places across England, starting with greater Manchester. Supported by an expert consortium of industry partners, Cycling UK will be providing free loans, lasting up to three months, of electric cycles giving local communities the opportunity to get around by e-cycle including adapted e-cycle. The programme is also aiming to dispel common myths and build awareness of e-cycles.
E-cycles will be made available at hubs in each pilot location with branches of Evans Cycles, local community spaces, selected workplaces and education settings being used to roll out the scheme.
This e-cycle programme delivers part of the Prime Minister’s ambitious Cycling and Walking Plan (Gear Change) to boost cycling and walking, with a vision for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.
Cycling UK will use their existing local community network of over 400 community cycling organisations to rapidly engage with underrepresented groups and non-regular cyclists to deliver high quality, inclusive, activities.
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said: “The e-cycles project is a unique opportunity for Cycling UK to offer free and easy loans of electric cycles to communities across England.
“Each of our chosen locations will have a variety of e-cycles available to suit a variety of participant’s needs.
“At Cycling UK, we understand that taking the first step to start cycling can be a difficult prospect for many people. This project will allow them to access an e-cycle without obstacles holding them back, to help them make real changes to their travel habits.”
Cycling minister Trudy Harrison said: “E-cycles are a great way for people with longer or hillier journeys to travel and the £8 million we have provided for this scheme will help make cycling the natural first choice for many journeys – a key Government commitment from the Prime Minister’s Cycling and Walking plan.
“I’m grateful to Cycling UK for delivering this scheme on our behalf, giving people across the UK the opportunity to try something new whilst doing good for the planet.”
The scheme commences in Manchester in May 2022 as the first of the pilot locations and will be marked by a high-profile media launch event supported by Evans Cycles.
Users will be able to enrol on the scheme via Cycling UK’s website from the 12th of May 2022 or through walk-ins at Evans Cycles and selected community hubs.