Leicester City Council and the city’s own sustainable travel specialist Go Travel Solutions have teamed up to bid for DfT cash to develop e-bike hubs.
Aiming to attract some of the £500,000 funds the Department for Transport has made available to areas outside London for such transport schemes, the bid has been backed by the University of Leicester, Leicester College, Highcross Leicester and East Midland Trains – e-bike hubs would be set up in those locations should it be successful.
Echoing this think piece on the cost of electric bikes, the bid is hoped to overcome the relatively high cost of e-bikes (the average price of a bike in the UK is circa £230), a hire system will make them available to more of the population and speed up their adoption, it is hoped.
The shared EAPC (Electronically Assisted Pedal Cycles) programme is managed by Carplus – an organisation that supports sustainable travel. Carplus will allocate funding for the DfT.
“If we are successful with the bid, Leicester will be able to demonstrate how electric bikes could be used to help business travel, travel to work and travel from the railway station,” commented Andrew Smith, director of planning, transportation and economic development at Leicester City Council.
“We’ve already completed a lot of work to make getting around our city easier by joining up pedestrian networks and cycle ways as part of our Connecting Leicester programme.
“Electric bikes represent another option for sustainable transport to help people get around the city, and it’s an option this bid could help us to explore much more thoroughly.”
Robin Pointon, Go Travel Solutions MD, added: “The benefits of electrically assisted pedal cycles are manifold but the purchase price has traditionally proven to be a real barrier to growth. A successful bid for the shared EAPC programme will help Leicester to speed up the adoption of electric bikes as a viable and effective mode of sustainable travel.
“Being invited to apply for this funding is a demonstration of the value of the Smartgo business network and the strengths of the strong public-private sector partnership in place,” he added.
Go Travel Solutions is a specialist sustainable transport consultancy serving businesses, public bodies and transport operators.
Should the bid be successful, local electric bike specialist retailers could be in line to benefit from a heightened awareness and adoption of electric bikes.