Manchester commuters encouraged onto e-bikes in new trial

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Commuters in Manchester are being offered the opportunity to sling a leg over an electric bike in a free trial, courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester.

21 e-bikes are available as part of the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which promotes active travel initiatives over private car use.

Sarah Riley, Community Development Coordinator at Great Places Housing Group, is one of the first people to sign up.

She said: “As an organisation we pride ourselves on machsustainability 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. However, 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.

The eBikes loan programme is an expansion of the existing Bikes for Business scheme, which TfGM has been running since 2012. This encourages employees to trial cycling with a view to increasing both the number of commuters cycling to work and also trips made during office hours by eBike.