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£700,000 competition supports pedelec use

Pedelec use has received a boost from the government following a competition for funding. Cycle-hire schemes across the country will receive hundreds of electric bikes to make cycling more accessible, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced today (28 September, 2015).

The e-bikes, which offer battery-assisted pedalling at the flick of a switch, will make it easier for people who are keen to cycle more but who may be put off by hilly routes or not having cycled regularly.

Winners of the £700,000 fund include commuter cycle-hubs at railway stations and park & rides, a hilly campus university encouraging students to cycle to lectures, and a tourist hire scheme for cycle-getaways on the Isle of Wight.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Electric bikes are a great way to encourage new people to get into cycling and today’s announcement will provide an opportunity for thousands more to enjoy the advantages they offer.

“Cycling helps cut congestion and is a healthy, affordable transport option.

“We want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle. That is why we are also investing over the next five years in cycle training and infrastructure.”

The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Sharing Pilot Scheme is the latest announcement backing the government’s commitment to double the number of cycle journeys by encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes.

The winning schemes will offer a variety of opportunities to hire the e-bikes, devised by local organisations up and down the country. Tourists and occasional riders can hire the bikes for one-off Boris Bike-style sessions, while regular users can register with local car clubs to use the e-bikes for as little as £1 an hour.

Alistair Kirkbride, director of Carplus, an organisation that will assist many of the successful schemes, said: “Riding an electric bike is like cycling with the wind behind you. Electric bikes have been shown to encourage more people to cycle more often. By supporting electric cycles in shared bikes networks it will enable a greater number of people to enjoy the benefits in more locations.”



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