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Free e-bike loan scheme launched with £8m of government funding


1 year 4 months ago

A good "pump priming" project in a sense.  However just like teaching kids to ride (which I think is important) what happens when new cyclists hit the streets?  The authorities are still labouring under the idea that if you just "encourage" cycling, or maybe even hand out a few bikes or put in a cycle lane here and there mass cycling will happen.  It won't, any more than mass motoring happened without a lot of (extremely expensive) infrastructure and decades of publicity and indeed state sponsorship.

There's a lack of understanding of what's needed for mass cycling: a network of safe and direct cycle routes wide enough for social cycling on good quality surfaces.  Segregated where required and with extra attention paid to junctions (ideally avoiding them).  So that needs building (reclaiming from motor vehicles!) or we'd need to drastically reduce the number of motor vehicles and police them far better.  Because currently if people can cycle or drive, they drive.  This is in part habit, mostly for convenience, partly that cycling doesn't feel safe.

Cycling for all is very cheap relative to motoring - but not free.