COMMUTERS ARE being encouraged to leave the car at home or try two wheels instead of relying on the train or bus, after the Department for Transport announced details of a £700,000 fund for battery-powered e-bikes.
Offering battery and motor-assisted power as you pedal, the latest generation of e-bikes are being introduced around Oxford, Brighton, Plymouth, Eastbourne, Bristol and Rotherham.
A range of schemes are being supported, varying from providing an alternative to busy Park & Ride facilities to getting tourists to take bike tours of the Isle of Wight.
Unlike London’s “Boris bikes”, the e-bikes are aimed at people who don’t regularly cycle.
Andrew Jones, Transport Minister, said, “Electric bikes are a great way to encourage new people to get into cycling. 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 e-bikes will be made available for one-off rides, or can be taken by regular users who are registered with local clubs. Users don’t need a driving licence, and the range of e-bikes is improving. Some, such as the new Carrera Crossfire-E, are claimed to go as far as 80 miles on a single battery charge.
Driving will pulling on its trouser clips and pedalling a selection of the latest e-bikes soon.