E-Bike Share Schemes Start to Roll Out in UK with Government Funding
LONDON, UK – In 2015 the UK government made GBP 700,000 (€ 880,000) available to fund e-bike sharing projects across the UK. Spring 2016 sees the winning bidders start to roll out their schemes.
Town centre e-bikes for short term use, e-bikes for tackling some of the UK’s steepest hills, specially adapted e-bikes for those with a disability, e-bikes for tourists and staff use at a tourist honeypot; all these and more were winning ideas awarded funding and their schemes are now starting to roll out across the UK.
Sustainable transport charity Carplus managed the bidding and awards process and their website sets out the philosophy behind it; “By supporting schemes in a range of different settings, the programme will gather evidence on which people, places and journeys are best served by shared electric bikes.”
The schemes are also now part of Bikeplus, created to represent the UK’s bike share schemes (electric and non-electric). Sixteen UK towns and cities currently have bike share schemes with more on the way. It aims to collect usage data so it can help make bike share schemes more successful.
Schemes already in operation
Some of the successful e-bike share schemes already in operation are: Journey Matters, Rotherham (town): 70 e-bikes will be taken around the district in a mobile ‘hub’ (specially adapted van), for both employee and general public use.
WeCycle, Hebden Bridge (hill village): 15 e-bikes including cargo bikes for hire by local residents and businesses to tackle some of the steepest gradients in the UK.
Co-Wheels, Bristol (major city): 24 e-bikes at two workplace hubs in self-service, smartcard operated bike lockers bookable through the Co-wheels car club website or app, available to employees in office hours and residents for weekends and evenings.