Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, has been trialling an e-bike for constituency and personal journeys instead of his car. He sourced the bike via a Sustrans loan scheme.
“I have wanted an electric bike for the last two years but finding the time to research it all and turn the idea into reality meant it just didn’t happen,” said Drakeford.
“However, it was recently suggested that I should try the Sustrans loan scheme as part of the Healthy Travel Charter, and the obstacles disappeared.”
Sustrans operate a number of free e-bike loans schemes in Wales, including the E-Move project which has been lending people e-cargo bikes to try.
It is also supporting organisations that have signed up to Public Health Wales’ Healthy Travel Charter, which encourages public sector organisations to commit to healthier travel choices.
This is how Drakeford was able to get hold of a Pure Free City step-through, which he was able to borrow for three weeks to see how he got on with it.
“It’s fantastic that we have a First Minister in Wales who’s leading the way and setting an example around the way we travel,” commented Sustrans Cymru director, Christine Boston.
“We have a transport strategy in Wales that’s working to prioritise active travel, and it’s exciting that Ministers are showing real leadership through switching their journeys from using the car to walking and cycling.
“It’s vital that we transition to more sustainable transport modes for our everyday journeys – active travel can play a crucial role in not only tackling the climate emergency, but improving our health and wellbeing, too.”
Drakeford added: “Modal shift is essential to achieving our ambitious target for a net zero Wales by 2050, and that shift requires opening up active travel options to as many people as possible for as many journeys as possible.
“Resources and opportunities like bike libraries and e-bike projects can break down some of the barriers to cycling, and ensure more people in Wales are included in both the environmental and health benefits of travelling actively.”