A SMALL fleet of electric bicycles have been made available as part of a scheme launched by Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) and Malvern Hills Car Club.
The Ebike to Work project provides young people starting work or training with an electric bike to help solve their transport problems.
Transport options are often more limited for people living in rural areas of the district as bus services are not always available and not everyone can afford to own and run a car.
The scheme has been developed by Malvern Hills Car Club (after 12 years of successfully running a two-week Ebike loan scheme) and it has received funding of £22,800 from the council.
To be accepted on the scheme, participants must be aged 16 years or over, live or work/train in the Malvern Hills District and have a firm offer of work, training or college course.
It is also available for young people already in work or college who are at risk of losing a job or placement due to transport difficulties.
Robin Coates, Co-founder of Malvern Hills Community Car Club, said: “We have been helping residents in the Malvern area since 2009 to see just how wonderful Ebikes are for making everyday trips easy, pleasant and healthy. We have done this by providing good Ebikes for short term loans.
“With this grant we can now start to help people use Ebikes to get to work and they can hire an Ebike for longer periods.
“We think this will be particularly helpful to young people starting work or further education.
“There are so many that either live in rural areas where there is no transport at the times they need it or live in towns but want to work in rural areas.”
Coun Daniel Walton, Malvern Hills District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “There are many well-known benefits to Ebikes, from environmental to health, but for us, this is a great opportunity to work with Malvern Hills Car Clubs and offer an affordable transport solution to help people access work and training .
“As well as improving transport options for people in the district it also supports our Destination Zero 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 and the priority is to support apprentices overcome any transport barriers they may have. There is a small loan charge of £15-a-week.
Apprentices may also be eligible for support with the hire cost via the Councils Training Support Bursary which is available at malvernhills.gov.uk/skills
A website with a contact page for the Ebike to Work scheme will be operating by mid-February:
Go to ebike-to-work.malvernhills-carclubs.org.uk/ or contact Robin Coates on 07973 721809 for more.