20 October 2016
The car2cycle scheme which subsidises the cost of purchasing an electric bike (E bike) is having a positive effect on reducing car usage and healthy living.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has sought feedback from those who have purchased an E bike under the scheme. The majority of respondents have replaced their car or van with their E bike and they have done so in order to be more active. Respondents also noted the benefits of owning an E bike, including: saving petrol money and parking charges; feeling healthier and fitter; enjoying the environment more without facing traffic queues; and increased flexibility and freedom with fitting in cycling every day without the uphill battle.
People have described the benefits of purchasing an E bike as “life changing”, “simply brilliant”, “fantastic and easy to get around”, “breathing new life into Jersey with an extra smile and less stress”, “reduced reliance on the car” and “great encouragement to get me out of my car and cycling again”.
DfI also asked for feedback on what improvements E bike users would like to see. Top of the list was more cycle routes, which the Department is actively working on. Phase one of St Peter’s Valley Path has just been opened which, once completed, will provide a fantastic off-road, north-south link. Route resurfacing and more cycle parking also featured quite highly, which has been taken on board by the Department.
With the dry autumn weather on their side, over 275 local residents have now bought electric bikes under the car2cycle scheme which offers a discount of 20% off the cost of an electric bike up to a maximum of £300. Since the initiative began in June, 380 people have applied for E bike grants. DfI has a target of enabling grants for up to 500 bikes.
Deputy Eddie Noel, Minister for Infrastructure said “I am pleased to say the scheme has been a huge success, far in excess of the 150 a year we were expecting. It has been hugely rewarding for us to hear about the positive impact buying an electric bicycle has had on people’s lives. It is really very inspiring.”
Deputy Richard Rondel, the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, added “Like a number of new E bike owners I have spoken with, I am thrilled with my E bike. It has replaced trips that might have involved the car previously. There are still grants available, so apply now before they are all gone!”
Anyone interested in purchasing an E bike with the up to £300 discount must complete an application form and take this along with photo identification and proof of address to Sand Street Parking Control or Driver and Vehicle Standards (DVS). Upon receipt of an approved application form, there is 4 weeks to redeem the discount at participating retailers. Anyone requiring an extension to the redemption period of an additional four weeks, should take their application form to DVS or Parking Control. Applications forms are available from participating retailers and online.
Jersey Post has introduced 20 red Pashley E bikes into its postal delivery fleet under the car2cycle scheme. The electric bikes are already in use and have been well received by postal workers who can get up the hills more quickly as well as more safely.