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David Gray

Get an e-bike and join East Yorkshire’s silent revolution

More and more residents are taking advantage of the council’s Wheels to Work scheme and getting out and about on two wheels, with the new electronically-assisted bikes (e-bikes) proving popular.

Launched in October 2017, the scheme helps residents, 16 or over,  get to work, and training or simply be more active whilst reducing their carbon footprint. It has allowed residents young and old to quietly enrich their daily life.

The scheme has a monthly fee and provides users with an electronically-assisted bike, safety equipment and courses that teach them how to use and maintain their bike.

Cottingham resident David Gray, 25, applied for the scheme after seeing the council’s Facebook page, with the intent to replace his car with an environmentally-friendly alternative.

Working for the Rooted in Hull’s urban farm project, David delivers vegetables to local restaurants and organisations using an e-bike provided by the scheme. Admitting he was “apprehensive about making the move straight to a bike” the helmet, hi-vis jacket and cycle lock, as well as training provided by the council “all helped to make the move much easier”.

Despite not having previous experience of cycling as a hobby, David has gained confidence and benefited from electronic assistance to travel distances otherwise unreachable. Inspired by Wheels to Work, Rooted in Hull hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by creating its own work-based e-bike scheme in the near future.

David said: It’s halved my fuel bill, reduced my carbon footprint and I’ve lost some weight! It also fits in with my employer’s and my values in regards to sustainability in business.”

However, the Wheels to Work scheme intends to extend beyond simply work-based uses and to enhance residents’ daily lives through promoting healthy exercise, getting people out into the fresh air.

One such customer, Joy Miller, 66, who lives in Cottingham and has enjoyed cycling as a hobby for many years, found the scheme via the Your East Riding magazine and was keen to give it a go.

She said: “I think that this scheme is a great way for people of all ages to try out an e-bike for a short space of time. In my case, it’s allowed me to stay active and enjoy retirement while waiting for a knee operation. I’d like to think that I will go back to my road bike once I can manage hills again, so this is an ideal scheme in the meantime.”

For Joy, using an e-bike for the first time, she admits she “was nervous about using the throttle”, but the free bikeability and maintenance courses she received allowed her to gain confidence and return to the roads keeping healthy and active.

Councillor Andy Burton, portfolio holder for economic investment and planning delivery, said: “The scheme aims to support any who feel they could benefit from assisted e-bikes, allowing our residents to maintain and extend their freedom in a healthy and environmentally-friendly manner.”

Wheels to Work originally launched with 14 e--bikes, as well as providing scooters and mopeds.

Eligible residents pay £35 a month and will receive an e-bike, for up to one year, as well as a helmet, hi-visibility jacket and cycle lock. Free bikeability training and bike maintenance courses are also available to all who join the scheme.

For more information or to find out how to apply, visit the council’s website at

www.eastriding.gov.uk/council/other-council-services/for-the-public/wheels-to-work-scheme/about-the-wheels-to-work-scheme/

Gallery

Joy Miller

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