Cycling UK has announced the launch of ‘Cycling made e-asy’, which sees up to £8 million of investment from Department for Transport from 2022-2023 to offer free e-cycle loans in pilot areas across England.
This investment will enable Cycling UK to roll out a 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.
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 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.
“The e-cycles project is a unique opportunity for Cycling UK to offer free and easy loans of electric cycles to communities across England,” said Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive. “Each of our chosen locations will have a variety of e-cycles available to suit a variety of participants’ 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 UK will use its existing local community network of over 400 community cycling organisations to engage with underrepresented groups and non-regular cyclists to deliver high quality, inclusive activities. Its behaviour change programmes engage with an average of 51% non-regular cyclists and 27% minority ethnic groups year on year.
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 Walking and Cycling 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 will commence 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 today, 12th May, or through walk-ins at Evans Cycles and selected community hubs.
Confirmed Cycling made e-asy partners supporting the delivery include Evans Cycles, Raleigh Bikes, Specialized, Tier Mobility, Islabikes, Cycling Projects, Bikeworks, Fusion Media, Modeshift, Cyclescheme, Cycle Confident, Big Issue e-bikes, Bicycle Association, Transport for Quality of Life.
For more information, visit www.cyclinguk.org/cyclingmadeeasy