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Cycling revolution goes electric across UK

Staff writer |
£700,000 competition supports hire schemes across the country with hundreds of new electric bicycles to get more people cycling.

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Cycle-hire schemes across the country will receive hundreds of electric bikes to make cycling more accessible, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced.

The e-bikes, which offer battery-assisted pedalling at the flick of a switch, will make it easier for people who are keen to cycle more but who may be put off by hilly routes or not having cycled regularly.

Winners of the £700,000 fund include commuter cycle-hubs at railway stations and park & rides, a hilly campus university encouraging students to cycle to lectures, and a tourist hire scheme for cycle-getaways on the Isle of Wight.

The winning schemes will offer a variety of opportunities to hire the e-bikes, devised by local organisations up and down the country. Tourists and occasional riders can hire the bikes for one-off Boris Bike-style sessions, while regular users can register with local car clubs to use the e-bikes for as little as £1 an hour.

Successful proposals include:

70 e-bikes at an existing popular travel hub in Rotherham to attract commuters who previously do not cycle.

A new tourist cycle-hire scheme offering 25 e-bikes to visitors to the Isle of Wight making it easier to see more of the island by bike

A housing association setting up a trial to install 18 e-bikes in low-income communities to provide cheaper, convenient and more accessible travel

The University of Brighton providing 20 e-bikes to encourage more students to cycle the hilly route between their Eastbourne campus and Eastbourne railway station

Plymouth receiving an expansion of 20 e-bikes to reduce car dependency at Park & Ride sites and offer a "try before you buy" offer for local residents

A start-up of 24 e-bikes located at four hubs across Bristol, including Temple Meads station and Avon Fire and Rescue service.

16 e-bikes adding to an already popular bike-hire scheme in Oxford targeting the city’s residents, students and hospital workers.

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