News & What's On Grapevine news Wheels to Work launch electric bicycles Electric bicycles are ideal for the Derbyshire hills At Rural Action Derbyshire we are excited to announce the launch of a small fleet of electric bicycles through our Wheels to Work project. Transport options are more limited for people living in rural areas as bus services are not always available for people who work outside of normal ‘office hours’ and not everyone can afford to own and run a car. Cycling has become increasingly popular as a leisure or fitness activity and many cyclists enjoy the challenge of the Derbyshire hills. However, it is not so viable when looking at cycling as a commuting option. Our Wheels to Work project already offers moped loans, reconditioned bicycles and in some circumstances temporary transport costs, but these are not always possible for everyone due to geographical factors. Bicycles are great for shorter journeys, but less so for people living in more rural areas as the distances are usually greater and the hills can be very off-putting. Laura Mitchell, Wheels to Work Project Manager says; “There are many well-known benefits to e-bikes, from environmental to health, but for us, it is the opportunity to offer an affordable transport solution to people in rural Derbyshire." Derbyshire County Council are long-term supporters of Wheels to Work and contributed £52,500 to help fund the project this year, some of which will be used to pay for this initial e-bike pilot. DCC Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Kewal Singh Athwal says; “The introduction of electric bicycles to the Wheels to Work fleet is an excellent addition to their current offer. As well as improving transport options for people in Derbyshire it also helps Derbyshire County Council meet its environmental commitment to cut carbon emissions and encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transport.” There are a limited number of electric bicycles available now on a first come first served basis. There is a small loan charge of £30 a week (£25 for students) and the scheme is open to anyone who is struggling with access to education, training or employment in Derbyshire. For more information please email [email protected].