An electric bike loan scheme for residents is being rolled out in five locations across Wales, backed by £1 million of funding from the Welsh Government.
The scheme, run by Sustrans, offers a range of battery assisted electric bikes for free, on long-term loan, for local residents that do not cycle regularly or find the cost of electric bikes a barrier to using them.
It will help the Welsh Government gather data to inform recommendations for the long-term use of electric bikes and active travel.
The scheme is being rolled out initially in Rhyl, Swansea, Newtown (with links to Aberystwyth) and Barry, with 20 electric bikes at each location, and will run for two years.
Pedal Power, an inclusive cycling charity based in Cardiff, has also received a share of the funding to help them to continue to remove barriers to cycling .
Deputy minister for climate change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “We want walking and cycling to become the normal choice for shorter journeys because active travel is not only better for our environment, but also for our health and economy.
“We know that this will involve a huge cultural change and that’s why we’re investing in schemes like the electric bike pilot to help people who have never cycled before to make a change to the way they travel in an affordable and sustainable way.”
Johnny Eldridge, liveable cities and towns project officer for Sustrans, said: “Sustrans strives to make it easier for people to walk and cycle. We are hoping that the scheme will enable affordable access to electric bikes in Rhyl by testing the potential of community cycle loan facilities. The pilot project will help understand the benefits of battery assisted cycles for a diverse range of users. The scheme’s bikes can be fitted with load carrying accessories, making them very versatile.
“We hope that the electric bikes will also offer a fun and enjoyable way to travel and will make a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.”