e-Cycle Support Scheme - To Be Announced!
As part of a wider multi-million pound investment scheme in active travel, the government has announced plans to raise awareness of E-Bikes and eventually ‘tackle barriers to their use’. Though we can’t be certain, here at E-Bikes Direct we know well that one of the biggest such barriers is how much they cost to you, the customer.
Updated: Friday 19 January 2024
What Could 'Tackling barriers toward E-Bike use' Actually Mean?
Shopping through us, it's no secret that you can buy reliable & well equipped Electric Bike for under £900, for example from our homegrown Basis brand. Even at the cheaper end these machines can get you 30 miles on a charge and flatten out even those nastier hills. The stigma of their price, seems to deter some people from taking the leap & hopping on an E-Bike... One barrier we're committed to challenging.
Could ‘tackling barriers to e-bikes use’ include some sort of government subsidy towards an e-bike? There’s no guessing but to us that sounds exciting.
There are incentives out there such as the Cycle to Work schemes where you can get an e-bike to cycle to work with certain tax advantages. Could there be money for those who now (or always did) work from home? Watch this space - we’ll be the first to shout about it!
Huge Investment Into Cycling Infrastructure
If you've spent more than a couple of hours in the saddle in your lifetime, you're bound to have been put in a sticky situation with a, lets say, 'eagar' new driver looking to pass you on a blind bend, or a beeping BMW driver that's late for his 'business meeting', flying by at 100MPH+... As cyclists we shouldn't have to worry about sharing road space with such idocy, but sadly cycling injury and fatalities in Britain are all too common.
With avid cyclists among us here at E-Bikes Direct, we're super excited to hear that our government is putting £338Mil into safer, more advanced cycling infrastructure such as designated lanes & accomodating routes. In fact, pedestrian transport in general is looking to be significantly improved! But, what exactly does this entail?
Who's Fighting Our Corner?
Custodians of the National Cycle Network, Sustrans are a UK charity that, in a nut shell, are "making it easier for people to walk and cycle". Covering England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland, Sustrans encourage folks to steer away from that short weekly commute we're all guilty of, and they do so by advising on nearest cycle & walk routes, sharing locations of local bicycle shops and most importantly pushing for suitable infrastructure to support their ethos. Just in the last year, Sustrans have aided the development of 203 miles of cycling & walking routes, and have counted roughly 3.8Mil school runs taken by foot or pedal! The stuff we love.
Highlights Of Investment Toward Cycling & Walking
- Just over £1 million is going into 'National Route 63' stretching between Staffordshire and South Derbyshire for a safer, traffic-free commuter route.
- Nearly £800,000 is going into improvements of National Route 72 between Wylam and Newburn, Northumberland.
- National Route 55 is getting £651,000 towards making cycling safer in Macclesfield, including a section widely used by commuter cyclists.
Of course, CEO of Sustrans, Xavier Brice, welcomed the news with open arms. He said, “The pandemic has highlighted the huge benefits of active forms of travel to people’s personal health and wellbeing, to local communities and to the environment. We’ve seen a marked increase in numbers using the cycle network and this commitment to funding underlines its importance.”
A Good Business Case
The pandemic has brought about a lot of social change, to say the least. Yes, lack of public transport and paid commute has massively taken it's toll in some areas, but on a sunnier side, it's now known that the number of miles cycled annually in the UK has leapt by over 45% to 5 billion miles in the last year? Here at E-Bikes Direct, skyrocketting demand within the industry had lead to suspicions of this dramatic increase, but this stat confirms that this growth has not just been a temporary flash in the pan!
The government it seems is on board with this idea. It was expected that only £257 million was to be invested but this has had a 30% hike as more and more people have seen the advantages of active travel over sitting in their cars going at similar speeds on congested roads.
All of this encouragement toward e-cycling, along with the unthinkable amount of money supporting it, not only increases probability of a future of assisted E-Bike purchasing, but also means you'll be a lot safer when hopping on the saddle! We think that’s certainly something to celebrate!