The Welsh Government hopes new funding to accelerate the uptake of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes will help create a ‘greener and more convenient transport network’.
The funding will see four e-bike ‘hubs’ piloted in Rhyl, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Barry. The hubs will offer local residents ‘low cost hire’ of e-bikes – as well as long-term loans to purchase an e-bike.
Meanwhile, two e-cargo bike ‘libraries’ will be established in Aberystwyth and Swansea – providing free trials of e-cargo bikes to local businesses and residents, in addition to advice and training on how to use them.
The trial schemes will run over two years and should be open to the public and businesses in the summer.
The Welsh Government says international examples show that e-bikes are a “practical alternative to the car”, can help tackle congestion and get people more active. It also says e-cargo bikes offer the potential to reduce van traffic, for example being used for last mile deliveries.
Lee Waters, deputy minister for economy and transport, said: “We want to give people more options of how to get around, and in particular we want to make greener forms of transport more convenient and accessible. Sustainable travel requires a culture change and the pilots are another step towards delivering our goal.
“There is a strong link between e-bikes and active travel as more people get used to being on bikes. There are also specific benefits in rural communities where longer distances are more common, with e-bikes making cycling viable for more people.
“These pilots will be used to gather evidence and inform policy, with a view to a wider rollout in the future.”