Manchester commuters are being offered a free electric bike trial via their workplaces in a bid to get more people commuting by bike.
Transport for Greater Manchester will loan businesses e-bikes, with a fleet of 21 available for people to try getting to work on two wheels. The idea is to encourage those put off by hilly routes or who haven’t cycled to work before.
The scheme is funded by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which aims to tackle congestion and pollution by promoting travel other than by car.
Sarah Riley, Community Development Coordinator at Great Places Housing Group, is one of the first people to sign up to the scheme and now uses an e-bike to commute to work.
She said: “As an organisation we pride ourselves on sustainability and healthy living, so the e-bike programme was a great opportunity to promote more environmentally friendly travel choices.
“I haven’t really cycled since my teens, so using a bike most days for commuting seemed like a big change,” she said. “The e-bike makes it really easy to cycle short journeys, making the transition from car to bike far more manageable and enjoyable.
“Before, I used to hop in the car for short journeys rather than walk to save time, but now I use the e-bike as it’s just as quick. So I’m always looking for opportunities to get out on the bike – not just to get to and from work – because it’s so much fun!”
Councillor Chris Paul, TfGM Committee Cycling Champion, said: “Cycling is a healthy, affordable and sustainable travel choice and this exciting scheme gives more people the opportunity to give cycling a go, in particular those who may be put off from cycling by the thought of taking on hills or longer journeys.
“We’re aiming to change Greater Manchester's travel culture and increase cycling, with a target of 10% of journeys being made by bike in the region by 2025.”
“Initiatives like this are a great way to help us move closer to that target and get more people in the saddle.”