An electric bike pilot scheme that has received more than £1m of funding from the Welsh Government is already helping local residents to swap their car for a bike in communities across Wales.
The electric bike loan scheme, run by Sustrans, offers a range of battery assisted electric bikes for free, on long-term loan, for local residents that do not cycle regularly or find the cost of electric bikes a barrier to using them.
The scheme which is being rolled out initially in five locations across Wales – Rhyl, Swansea, Newtown (with links to Aberystwyth) and Barry – will help the Welsh Government gather data to inform recommendations for the long term use of electric bikes and active travel.
Visiting one of the electric bike loan facilities in Rhyl 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.”
Liveable Cities and Towns Project Officer for Sustrans, Johnny Eldridge said: “Sustrans strives to make it easier for people to walk and cycle. We are hoping that the scheme will enable affordable access to electric bikes in Rhyl by testing the potential of community cycle loan facilities. The pilot project will help understand the benefits of battery assisted cycles for a diverse range of users. The scheme’s bikes can be fitted with load carrying accessories, making them very versatile.
“We hope that the electric bikes will also offer a fun and enjoyable way to travel and will make a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.”