The DfT has announced £700,000 of funding to provide hundreds of electric bikes for cycle-hire schemes across the country.
The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Sharing Pilot Scheme is the latest initiative as part of the government’s commitment to double the number of cycle journeys “by encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes”.
The DfT’s 2014 National Travel Survey showed that just 2% of all trips were made by bicycle, with 64% of trips made by car.
The ‘e-bikes’, which offer battery-assisted pedalling at the flick of a switch, are designed to encourage people who may be put off by hilly routes or not having cycled regularly.
The DfT says the initiative will “make cycling more accessible and reduce road congestion”.
Beneficiaries of the £700,000 fund include commuter cycle-hubs at railway stations and park & rides, a university located on a hilly site and a tourist hire scheme on the Isle of Wight.
Andrew Jones, transport minister, said: “Electric bikes are a great way to encourage new people to get into cycling and today’s announcement will provide an opportunity for thousands more to enjoy the advantages they offer.
“We want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle. That is why we are also investing over the next five years in cycle training and infrastructure. Cycling helps cut congestion and is a healthy, affordable transport option.”