A new initiative, ‘Cycling made e-asy’ is being launched today, and will provide people across the country with free access to electric bikes for a loan period of up to three months.
The aim is to increase the accessibility of electric bikes – and cycling in general – to those who may not normally consider them for their journeys.
People will be able to hire an e-bike from selected Evans Cycles stores in five cities across the UK including Manchester, Hull, Sheffield, Luton & Dunstable and Leicester. The scheme is funded by the Department for Transport which has allocated up to £8 million of investment between 2022-2023.
Cycling UK is also hoping the scheme will dispel myths surrounding electric cycling, and improve awareness among people who do not typically ride. Some of the brands already confirmed as taking part in the pilot scheme include Specialized and Raleigh, and there will also be adapted bikes available.
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, asserted the scheme is a great place to introduce cycling to those who currently do not ride.
“We understand that taking the first step to start cycling can be a difficult prospect for many people," said Mitchell. "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.”
Riders will also be able to hire helmets, bike locks and lights during their loan period. In addition to electric bike loans, each hub will offer training and events led by Cycling UK including road confidence sessions and led rides.
The Cycling made e-asy scheme is part of the government’s Cycling and Walking Plan which aims to make walking and cycling 50% of all journeys in towns and cities by 2030.