Rotherham joins the cycling revolutionPublished Wednesday, 30th September 2015
Rotherham is getting ready to entice more people into cycling after securing funding to provide a fleet of 70 new electric bikes in a Government competition.
The winners were announced this week by Transport Minister Andrew Jones in the £700,000 competition to support hire schemes across the country. In total, around 250 bikes were up for grabs.
Rotherham Council will use the bikes in its Journey Matters bike scheme to attract commuters who previously did not cycle. The project loans out bikes to employees and the public from its popular one-stop mobile cycle hub.
Advisory Cabinet Member with responsibility for transport Cllr Denise Lelliott said: “We have done incredibly well, winning a substantial share of the funding made available by the Government. There was strong competition – our scheme offers the opportunity for residents in Rotherham to hire an e-bike for up to 3 months, and provides all of the equipment, training and support required and is entirely free.
“Our Journey Matters project however is a champion of sustainable transport in and around Rotherham. Our vision is that by 2020 we want four out of five local journeys to be by bike, foot or public transport. That's double the current figure. It's a big challenge, but we are confident we can do it.”
Each of the 11 winning schemes was chosen by Carplus with funding provided by the Department for Transport.
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.”
Carplus will assist many the successful schemes. Its Director, Alistair Kirkbride, added: “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.”
The e-bikes have small electric motors which boost the riders’ pedal power. They offer battery-assisted pedalling at the flick of a switch, making it easier for people who are keen to cycle more but who may be put off by hilly routes or not having cycled regularly.
Journey Matters, Rotherham’s Mobile Cycle Hub, offers pedal and electric bike hire for up to three months. This includes the free loan of a quality bike and all the equipment required such as bike lights, a lock and helmet to try cycling to work and for leisure. Bikes are maintained throughout the loan period and participants are fully supported with cycle training and route planning if required. A range of pedal, electric and folding bikes are available for people to try out at the Hub.
To find your nearest hub location contact the CycleBoost team on 01709 910713, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website.