Electric bike retailer Fully Charged is loaning electric bikes to London’s NHS workers for free for three month stints.
The London-based specialist store is – from today (30 March) – making more than 20 e-Bikes available, with hopes it will be able to offer more e-Bikes if more brands offer their assistance.
Fully Charged said the initiative aims to minimise NHS workers’ disruption and chances of infection as they travel to and from London’s hospitals to complete crucial work in treating COVID-19 patients.
Interested NHS workers, as well as cycle industry businesses keen to offer their support to the project, can register their interest via the Fully Charged website.
Fully Charged has sites in London Bridge and Silverstone and will deliver the bikes to NHS staff in the capital who sign up to the scheme. Trained mechanics will assemble and conduct pre-delivery inspections on all e-Bikes prior to them going to their new temporary owners.
The first eBike provider partnering in this project is Gocycle, which is offering twenty of its Gocycle GS at no cost.
“Bicycle stores have been excluded from the Government’s list of mandatory closures amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dan Parsons, Fully Charged Director of Operations. “This is a reflection of the importance of cycling as a viable alternative to using public transport, as well as the benefits it offers to people’s health and wellbeing, particularly at a time of self-isolation and social distancing.
“At Fully Charged, given we’re able to remain operational, our focus is on supporting the country’s key workers – namely NHS staff who are going above and beyond to help those suffering at the hands of COVID-19.
“With cycling exhibitions cancelled, many demo bikes are going unused. Fully Charged is grateful to our business partners for enabling us to get these eBikes into the hands of NHS workers for their use during such difficult times. We hope NHS staff will seize the offer and, moreover, we are calling on the rest of the industry to help provide more support for doctors and nurses in this way.
“We are grateful to Gocycle as our first partner in this project and hope that other suppliers follow their example and generous commitment, allowing us to increase the offering to NHS workers in due course.”
Richard Thorpe, Gocycle’s Founder and Designer, added: “We’ve all seen the images of packed tubes in the capital in the last few days. With far less traffic above ground, and the reduced number of trains being made available, eBikes are probably the best solution for essential NHS workers to move around the city. The last thing frontline staff need after a long day saving lives is being confined within a crowded train carriage or bus or to be stuck standing in a long queue.
“Bicycles are part of the solution, but tired legs will appreciate the benefits of an electric motor to assist them home with less effort. It’s a tough time for everyone being on lock down and very hard for small businesses everywhere. We really appreciate the chance to help London’s frontline NHS staff, however small our role might be.”
Steve Garidis, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, the UK national trade body for the cycling industry, said: “Cycling is playing an important role in this crisis enabling essential workers to travel without using public transport. This role will be equally important when we come to restart the economy without restarting transmission.
“The cycling industry has a strategically vital role in keeping Britain cycling and it’s fantastic to hear the stories of businesses pulling out all the stops to help essential workers.”
There are roughly 1.5 million people employed in the NHS, with doctors and nurses working tirelessly and risking their own safety to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, more than 560,000 people have volunteered to support the NHS at this critical time.