Isle of Wight Council

30 Nov 2021

Islanders get first taste of e-bikes

More than 500 Islanders have so-far experienced riding an e-bike for the first time as part of the Isle of Wight Council's E-Cycle Roadshow project.

The council was one of nine local authorities to secure funding through the Department for Transport's (DfT) e-cycle extension fund to trial new ideas to make electric bikes more accessible to more people.

The programme is delivering five projects on the Island, including an e-cycle 'pop up' roadshow which will provide 1,000 residents with an e-bike taster experience.

The roadshow aims to introduce people to electric bikes in a safe environment, and understand how this initial experience can translate into more regular access to e-bikes in the medium term.

The roadshow project is delivered in partnership with Island cycle hire operator, Routefifty7, and started in September 2021. It recently welcomed its 500th participant, halfway to the 1,000 target.

Councillor Phil Jordan, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: "The council is delighted to have secured external funding from the DfT to deliver these exciting electric bike projects.

"E-bikes have significant potential to change the way we travel, especially for short distance journeys, contributing to reduced congestion and improved air quality in our towns.

"Comments from the roadshow events so far show that they have been well received by residents, and it’s great to see that lots of people are considering how they can access e-bikes more regularly in the future.

"I would very much recommend that people try out these bikes for themselves and see what a great way to move around and travel they really are."

All participants are required to complete a baseline and follow up survey to understand the impact of the project.

Of the responses received to date, more than 50 per cent said they had not cycled in at least the past 12 months.

After experiencing an e-bike at a roadshow event:

• more than 90 per cent of participants rated their initial e-bike experience as exceeding expectation;

• 97 per cent of attendees would like to cycle on an e-bike again;

• 31 per cent of attendees had cycled more regularly on a pedal bike;

• 48 per cent of attendees were considering purchasing an electric bike.

Claire Compton, RouteFifty7 director, said: “As an established Island cycle hire operator, we have seen demand for electric bikes increase year on year from our customers over recent years.

"The current Isle of Wight Council programme of electric bike pilot projects is providing an opportunity for many residents to experience e-bikes for the first time.

"We have been delighted by the interest from residents, particularly from new, novice or lapsed cyclists, the majority of which are surprised at how easy it is to use an e-bike, and the potential they offer for everyday journeys.

"We look forward to welcoming attendees to the remaining roadshow events over the next four months.”

Roadshow events are free to attend and take place across the Island. For details of future roadshows, please visit https://routefifty7.com/e-cycle-roadshow/

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Over 500 people have attended the e-bike roadshow so far
Over 500 people have attended the e-bike roadshow so far
Factfile
  • The council was one of nine local authorities to secure funding through the Department for Transport's (DfT) e-cycle extension fund to trial new ideas to make electric bikes more accessible.
  • The roadshow project is delivered in partnership with Island cycle hire operator, Routefifty7, and started in September 2021.
 
Isle of Wight, UK