‘Try before you buy’ scheme for E-Cycles and more e-scooters coming.

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City of York Council has been awarded £133,040 from the Department for Transport to offer York residents the chance to try an e-cycle before considering purchasing one at a discounted price.

The ‘E-Cycle Switch’ scheme is set to launch next month offering anyone that lives, works or studies in York the opportunity to borrow an e-cycle from a participating local bike shop and trial it for 7 days with no obligation to buy. Once their trial is complete, participants will be eligible for a £300 discount off e-cycles at any participating bike shop.

Around 60% of car journeys are less than 5 miles, meaning the simple switch to more sustainable modes of transport can have a positive impact on health, local air quality and congestion across the city. Additionally, the carbon emission of an electric cycles is less than 10% of a petrol fuelled car over its lifecycle.

Over the past 12 months retailers across the UK have seen a spike in e-cycle sales as lockdown encouraged many to choose active travel in their local area. However, cost has proven to be a significant barrier to those wishing to try out this sustainable mode of transport.

Variations of the scheme are being finalised to accommodate for the inclusion of adapted e-cycles with an increased discount and also for an extended trial period and increased discount for those currently unemployed and seeking employment.

Once the scheme goes live, participants will be able to sign up online via the iTravel website to take part in the ‘try before you buy’ scheme. Working with participating local bike shops across the city, customers will be able to choose their preferred shop and liaise directly with the shop to collect an e-cycle that is right for them. Once the trial is complete, there will be the option the purchase any e-cycle from any of the participating retailers with a discount of £300.

E-Scooter trial to be extended in York

City of York Council has agreed to extend the e-scooter trial in York for a further 6 months.

The DfT has approved an extension of the current e-scooter trials taking place across the country until the 31 March 2022. The extension of the trial includes York, a city which has been part of the trial group since October 2020.

This extension will provide extra time for all trial areas to reach expected capacity of e-scooters as restrictions continue to ease. In addition, the extended period will allow for the DfT to gather additional data to inform future legislation.

The e-scooter and e-bike service currently provided by TIER mobility, supports a ‘green’ restart for local travel across the city and has provided a sustainable and convenient alternative for residents and visitors whilst public transport capacity was restricted. Since the service went live around 10,000 unique riders have made almost 40,000 trips around the city using a TIER e-scooter or e-bike, covering over 140,000 miles of York’s roads and cycle paths.

The six month extension of the trial is also accompanied by an expansion of the maximum number of e-scooters now permitted in the city, following the successful take-up of the service. The maximum number has been raised from 700 to 1,000 to ensure growing demand for the service is met, covering more than 45 parking areas across York.