It has been revealed that West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) has seen its users complete more than 30,000 rides since the e-bikes launched on the streets last December. Quadrant Transport explores how the West Midlands is encouraging travel by e-bikes.
Figures issued by West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) for Bike Week (June 6-12) show more than 8,000 individuals have used the e-bikes and travelled an average of almost 3 kilometres per trip.
Making cycling easier, especially on longer journeys or on hilly terrain, the e-bikes are available for hire in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, and Wolverhampton. For their first WMCH ride, 2,700 new users of the scheme have used an e-bike.
E-Bikes Provide Health And Environmental Benefits
WMCH was developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and is operated by Serco. The bikes and docking stations are manufactured in the West Midlands.
Mayor of the West Midlands, who chairs the WMCA, Andy Street, said: “Our cycle hire scheme has been a phenomenal success and these latest figures show our decision to include e-bikes in our offering has been incredibly warmly received by the public.
“Citizens across the West Midlands have made more than 30,000 e-bike journeys over the winter and spring. Now as we move into the summer season, e-bikes are sure to prove even more popular than they have so far.”
We’re keen to enable cycling uptake in our region given all of the health and environmental benefits; e-bikes are a great way for people to get started and experience the benefits of active travel.
To unlock an e-bike costs £1.50 and 10p per minute after that, or 5p per minute with a WMCH bundle deal, meaning a half-hour ride could cost as little as £3. Using the Beryl Cycle Hire app, the bikes can be hired, and the e-bike locations are marked.
The Aim Is To Encourage Modal Shift
Investing in cycling facilities is a key part of the West Midlands’ plan to encourage more alternatives to travelling by car for shorter journeys around towns and cities with a view to reducing congestion, improving air quality, and helping the region achieve its #WM2041 net zero-carbon target.
WMCA Portfolio Holder for Transport and Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “Cycle hire is just one of the many ways TfWM and partner councils are making it easier for people to cycle or walk across the region.
“We are developing miles of safe cycle routes, including our Starley Network, and making our town centres and communities more cycle and pedestrian-friendly – as well as offering people training and encouragement to get on their bikes.
“This is a vital part of our plans to reduce car use, cut traffic congestion and meet our net-zero carbon climate change targets.”
Encouraging people of the West Midlands to travel by e-bike, will not only provide them with health benefits but will benefit the environment as it will help to reduce congestion and improve air quality.