Greater Manchester Green City Region. Creating a greener, greater city region differently

Sarah Riley, Great Places Housing Group

eBike scheme powers up cycling for Greater Manchester commuters

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a scheme lending businesses and organisations electric bikes – or eBikes as they’re often known – with a fleet of 21 available for people to give cycling a go as part of their working day.

An eBike offers battery-assisted pedalling with the flick of a switch, making cycling easier for people who are keen to try it out but who may be put off by hilly routes or not having cycled regularly. 

Sarah Riley, Community Development Coordinator at Great Places Housing Group, is one of the first people to sign up to the scheme and uses an eBike to commute to work.
She said:

“As an organisation we pride ourselves on sustainability and healthy living, so the eBike 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 eBike 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 eBike 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.

“Initiatives like this are a great way to help us move closer to that target and get more people in the saddle.”

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.

The scheme is funded by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which aims to tackle congestion and reduce carbon emissions by promoting the use of sustainable modes of transport.

To read more about Sarah’s experience with the eBike, take a look at her blog at justride.tfgm.com/sarah.

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