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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Hana Kelly

Cycling is ‘e-asy’ with new e-bikes to borrow for free in Cheetham Hill

A new scheme has launched in Cheetham Hill to help get people cycling. The scheme, which launched this week, will see e-cycles be made available for short or long term loan for free.

Cycling made e-asy, from Cycling UK, has launched in Manchester, offering e-bikes to people who would not normally consider cycling. It is hoped that the scheme will help cut down on unnecessary short car journeys, by replacing them with bikes, trikes and cargo-cycles.

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The loans of the bikes can last up to three months in month-long blocks and are offering local communities the chance to get around on a variety of cycles, including traditional bicycles, cargo cycles, e-cycles and adapted for accessibility trikes.

While the scheme has only just launched at Evans Cycles in Cheetham Hill, the focus area for Cycling made e-asy, it is in development to be rolled out to community hubs, selected workplaces and educational settings across the region.

A cargo cycle available through a new cycle scheme allows to you to borrow a bike for free for three months (Manchester Evening News)

As well as the loan of bikes, the scheme also wants to help people keep cycling and offers free maintenance on the loaned bikes as well as community, cycle based activity sessions. These include led rides and confidence building on cycles.

Electric bikes can make journeys easier, and the scheme hopes to engage with underrepresented communities who may have been deterred from cycling in the past. Through their tried and tested behavioural change models, Cycling UK has the ability to and hopes to deliver this, and other projects and programmes that attract diverse groups and empower communities.

Cycling made e-asy is being delivered as part of the Prime Minister’s cycling and walking plan, Gear Change, which hopes to get 12,000 across the country e-cycling this year. It will receive up to £8 million of investment from the Department for Transport between 2022 and 2023.

By the end of July, similar schemes will have launched in Leicester, Luton, Dunstable, Hull and Sheffield.

An e-cycle available through a new cycle scheme allows to you to borrow a bike for free for three months (Manchester Evening News)

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive said: “The e-cycles project is a unique opportunity for Cycling UK to offer free and easy loans of electric cycles to communities across England. Each of our chosen locations will have a variety of e-cycles available to suit a variety of participant’s needs.

“At Cycling UK, we understand that taking the first step to start cycling can be a difficult prospect for many people. This project will allow them to access an e-cycle without obstacles holding them back, to help them make real changes to their travel habits.”

Cycling minister Trudy Harrison said: “E-cycles are a great way for people with longer or hillier journeys to travel and the £8 million we have provided for this scheme will help make cycling the natural first choice for many journeys – a key Government commitment from the Prime Minister’s Cycling and Walking plan.

“I’m grateful to Cycling UK for delivering this scheme on our behalf, giving people across the UK the opportunity to try something new whilst doing good for the planet.”

To enrol on the scheme, you can visit Cycling UK’s website by clicking here or by popping into Evans Cycles in Cheetham Hill.

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