More residents will be able to experience the benefits of electric bikes thanks to a funding boost secured through the West of England Combined Authority.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has secured £70k to purchase ten e-bikes and four adapted e-trikes for residents to loan for free. The money will also fund the installation of supporting infrastructure, including two lockable e-bike on-street storage hangars, and will enable the council to provide a range of other supporting measures including free e-cycle training sessions. The funding was secured from the Government following a successful bid by the West of England Combined Authority.
West of England Mayor, Dan Norris said: “This pedal-powered scheme uses cash secured by the West of England Combined Authority that I’m proud to lead. The e-bikes will make it easier for people in North East Somerset and Bath to get around, leaving the car at home, without having to be a lycra-clad fitness fanatic.
“And people can borrow one of these e-bikes to really get a feel for it, before they decide if it’s for them. Look out for details of taster sessions and training courses.”
The new e-bikes and e-trikes are a welcome addition to the council’s growing fleet which has proved extremely popular with the service recording it’s 1,000th loan earlier this year. If you would like to try an e-bike on the free loan scheme, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BANESLOANBIKE
Councillor Sarah Warren, the Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel said: “This is fantastic news and will help us in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality by encouraging residents and businesses to swop their vehicles for more sustainable modes of transport. We know the steep hills in our towns and city poses a barrier to using traditional bikes for some people. Electric bikes and trikes overcome this issue as you don’t have to use pedal power alone, enabling many more of us to take positive action to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality as we work towards achieving net zero.”
Chris Revill from Wheels for All inclusive cycling projects charity said: “Wheels for All Bath & West is excited to support the council’s e-bike initiatives through this funding. At Wheels for All Bath & West we aim to make cycling accessible for all – so being able to promote greater awareness and use of e-bikes and especially e-trikes is a big ambition for us. There are massive barriers for people with additional needs and disabilities to take part in cycling so we see the addition of e-trikes to our range of accessible trikes at the Odd Down Sports Ground as a huge boost.”
Plans on where to locate the bike hangars will be subject to a public consultation later this year.