The Scottish Government has awarded over £633,000 to support 45 e-bike projects across the country.
Through the latest round of the eBike Grant Fund, delivered through Energy Saving Trust, schools, hospitals and community groups will establish projects to adopt e-bikes, adaptive bikes and e-cargo bikes as an alternative to car journeys.
For the first time, over £223,000 of this overall funding package is enabling specific projects which directly support key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Golspie, Cycling UK Scotland will work with key workers including NHS staff, carers, shop workers, service providers and local businesses to provide access through a new pool of eight e-bikes. In Glasgow and Edinburgh, Simon Community Scotland is being provided with a grant of almost £16,000 to support its outreach work in helping vulnerable people through the assistance of e-bikes.
“In our latest round of funding for e-bikes, I’m delighted that more organisations will be able to assist communities and key workers in discovering the benefits of what modern e-bikes can bring,” said cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson.
“To help keep the country moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve targeted some of this funding to support key and essential workers. As we work to build an active nation and ensure Scotland’s green recovery, I want to see more of our key workers becoming ambassadors for more sustainable travel. Many people have discovered new ways of travelling over lockdown and we want to support this and see it continue right across the country.
“I ride an e-bike – and it’s completely transformed what I thought was possible on two wheels. I’m pleased that with this funding more people and communities will discover how e-bikes and e-cargo bikes can meet their transport needs whilst improving Scotland’s air quality, health and sense of wellbeing.”
Ellie Grebenik, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust said: “It is excellent to see the range of successful projects in the 2020/21 round of the eBike Grant Fund, including the 12 projects receiving funding to support key workers who are commuting during the current pandemic.
“These projects will provide communities across Scotland with greater access to active, sustainable travel and will be a key part of Scotland’s ambitions to address the effects of climate change and its transition to net-zero carbon emissions. It is particularly encouraging to see the range of adapted bikes being provided as part of the funding that will help to remove barriers and make cycling more accessible to Scottish communities.
“We look forward to working with the successful organisations and helping them to achieve their projects’ potential.”
Hugh Hill, director of services and development at Simon Community Scotland and Streetwork, added: “We were delighted to receive the support of Transport Scotland and Energy Saving Trust in providing a small fleet of e-bikes to frontline workers. More than ever we need to look after our mental and physical health and cycling, even powered, can absolutely do both.
“We hope to build on this initiative supporting, encouraging and enabling more people to take up cycling as a way of life and a means of transport.”
A full list of awarded projects is available on the Energy Saving Trust website.