Rural Action Derbyshire is based in Matlock and for 15 years has been running a scheme called Wheels to Work. The scheme provides transport solutions for people who struggle to get to work or training because of a lack of suitable public or private transport. This problem can be particularly acute in isolated rural communities.
Wheels to Work already offers moped loans, reconditioned bicycles, and help towards transport costs in some circumstances. The addition of six electric bikes will be welcomed by users needing to travel greater distances and in hilly terrain.
Derbyshire County Council have contributed £52,500 to help fund Wheels to Work this year and some of the money will be used to pay for this initial e-bike pilot.
Laura Mitchell, Wheels to Work Project Manager said:
“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 Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Kewal Singh Athwal said:
“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.