A new shared e-bike scheme has just launched in the West Midlands, as 150 docked machines have just been installed across the region.
The unique green and purple e-bikes have been built by iconic manufacturer Pashley and are now available in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
These new e-bikes are an extension of the existing bike hire scheme set up in the West Midlands earlier this year, which saw 1,350 unassisted bikes installed in the area.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “It has been a fantastic year for cycle hire, with more than 170,000 journeys taken on our fleet of bikes since March’s launch. Now, with the scheme having proved so popular, we are ready to take the next step with West Midlands Cycle Hire and roll out e-bikes.
“The greater range on the e-bikes makes them a clean and green alternative to the car for even more journeys around our region, whilst they will also help more people get involved with cycling and perhaps even try it for the first time.
“We know cycling and walking has huge benefits both for the environment and for people’s mental and physical health, as well as being great fan. And so that’s why we are looking to expand the scheme throughout 2022, making sure we reach more people and communities across the West Midlands.”
The new e-bikes cost £1.50 to unlock and 10p per minute after that, while there are bundles on offer which let users travel for 30 minutes for £3. Bike are unlocked through the Beryl Cycle Hire app.
These schemes are part of the £40 million investment Transport for West Midlands and its partner councils are making in cycling and walking.
Adam Tranter, the newly appointed West Midlands cycling and walking commissioner, said: “E-bikes have totally transformed cycling for many people, including me; using an e-bike made it much less likely for me to use a car.
“From a quick trip across town or to meet friends, having electric assistance is really helpful on the hills or just when you want to take it easy. I’m pleased that more people in the West Midlands now have the chance to use an e-bike thanks to this new fleet.”
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Cllr Ian Brookfield, City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, said: “The launch of the e-bikes in our city today is a really exciting addition to the successful West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme and I hope people will come and try them out.
“We’ve been really pleased to see the way people have got involved with the scheme, which was first launched in March. Since then, we have seen riders clocking up more than 50,000km on bikes they have hired in the city and the new e-bikes will offer another option.
“We’re working really hard to support cycling in Wolverhampton and make it easier for our residents to consider this healthier and greener option. We’ve created a new pathway for cyclists and walkers along the entire length of Ring Road St Peters and we’re developing a continuous cycle route along the A4124 Wednesfield Road which will provide a key link between the city centre and New Cross Hospital.
“And we hope our hosting of next year’s Commonwealth Games cycling time trial will encourage people to enjoy this healthy, fun and environmentally-friendly method of transport.”
The scheme is operated by Serco under a five-year contract from Transport for West Midlands.