Welsh Government extends free e-bike scheme for deprived communities
The E-Move project aims to deliver accessible and sustainable travel for disadvantaged residents
In a bid to encourage sustainable travel, the Welsh Government has decided to extend its E-Move community project, which allows residents in deprived, built-up areas to trial an electric bike for free for up to four weeks.
The scheme is funded by the government and is now set to continue until 2024, following the positive feedback it has received for changing travel habits in participants.
Delivered by Sustrans Cymru, the E-Move project targets residents in disadvantaged areas who have limited access to transport, face health challenges or find driving unaffordable.
The scheme is said to have improved up to 76 percent of participants’ wellbeing, with 70 percent noting positive health benefits from cycling.
Additionally, it is estimated that the use of the bikes has resulted in a saving of 600kg of CO2 output compared to car use. Twenty electric bikes are available at each trial location, which include Aberystwyth, Swansea, Barry, Rhyl, Newtown and the surrounding areas.
To be eligible for the scheme, residents must be aged 18 or over and living in areas listed in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation as one of the 10-50 percent most deprived wards in Wales, live in hilly locations close to the E-Move hubs, or be from rural areas accessible by electric bike, with the aim of reducing car trips.
Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters emphasised the need to encourage people to cycle. He said: “Cycling isn’t just better for the environment, it’s much cheaper than running a car and great for your mental and physical health too.”
The trial also involves businesses, with some utilising cargo bikes for business trips.