E-bikes flatten Sheffield’s hills according to shadow transport secretary

A row of people stand with bikes on a hill with a view over Sheffield in the background. They are smiling and waving at the camera. In the centre is Louise Haigh, Secretary of State for Transport
Shadow Transport Secretary and local MP Louise Haigh joined her constituents, active travel commissioner Ed Clancy, and Cycling UK for an e-bike ride up Sheffield’s hills
  • The bike ride was organised by Cycling UK, which runs its Making cycling e-asier programme – a free e-cycle loan scheme – in Sheffield
  • Louise Haigh was joined by Heeley constituents and South Yorkshire’s active travel commissioner Ed Clancy
  • E-cycles enable more people to experience the many benefits of cycling

On International Women’s Day, Shadow Transport Secretary and MP for Sheffield Heeley, Louise Haigh, joined charity Cycling UK on a bike ride to experience first-hand the potential of e-bikes to make cycling more accessible and appealing. 

Taking in some of the steepest hills – and best views – in Meersbrook, the ride highlighted how e-bikes give everyone the option to cycle, no matter the terrain or the person’s ability. 

It was great to be out with Cycling UK and to see how much easier it is to cycle when you have an extra boost from an e-bike, it makes all the difference. 

Louise Haigh, Shadow Transport Secretary

Louise said:

“Sheffield is known for its hills and that may be a barrier for some people who might be thinking of choosing cycling to get around. It was great to be out with Cycling UK and to see how much easier it is to cycle when you have an extra boost from an e-bike, it makes all the difference. 

“It’s great that residents now have the opportunity to try an e-bike before they buy one, making cycling more accessible for all.”


Charity Cycling UK’s free e-cycle loan scheme, Making cycling e-asier, has already been helping Sheffield residents get on their e-bikes. The programme provides free one-month-long e-cycle loans to people in Sheffield and other locations across England, while also helping them with skills and confidence training.

The charity is also known for its Big Bike Revival programme, which enables people across England to start or return to cycling through free community bike rides, training, and mechanical support.

In Sheffield alone, almost 7,000 people have taken part in these two programmes in the past 12 months. These schemes are particularly good at helping to encourage underrepresented groups to take up cycling. On average, 53% of participants were female, 15% were from a black and ethnic minority background, and 25% were from the most economically deprived areas.

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s CEO, said:

“We were so pleased to meet Louise and discuss the many benefits cycling brings as outlined in a recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research – not just in terms of health, well-being and the climate, but also boosting economic growth, creating green jobs and making our streets safer.

“E-cycles open those benefits up to even more people, especially in hilly places like Sheffield, and make getting around fun. What’s needed is for more people to have the option to choose walking or cycling for shorter journeys, and that requires investment in infrastructure, including separated cycle lanes. 

“As the General Election draws nearer, we hope to hear all of the main political parties commit to enabling more people to move actively, and to realise all the benefits that brings.”

Louise was joined by Tom Collister, a Heeley constituent and coordinator of Sheffield Cycling 4 All, which provides adapted cycles and organised rides for people with disabilities, and Steve Roche, a Sheffield stonemason who was able to ditch his van for a cargo bike after trying one out through Making cycling e-asier.

Tom Collister, of Sheffield Cycling 4 All, said:

“E-cycling has opened up the option of cycling in Sheffield for many people who previously wouldn’t have been able to cycle. It was great that Louise Haigh could experience for herself just how much difference the e-assist makes. 

“Hopefully this insight will enable her to better advocate for improved infrastructure and more e-cycle loan and low-cost purchase schemes. Hills no longer need to be a reason for not cycling in Sheffield.”

Steve Roche added:

“The loan of an e-cargo bike from Cycling UK really opened my eyes and changed the way I commute. I feel healthier and get to places quicker! For a day onsite, I can fit tools, PPE and a radio in the e-cargo bike. It’s keeping me fit and I’d forgotten how much fun riding a bike is.”

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org 
  2. For more information on Making cycling e-asier, visit https://www.cyclinguk.org/making-cycling-e-asier
  3. For more information on the Big Bike Revival, visit https://www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival 

Press contact information

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office www.cyclinguk.org/contact/press-and-media. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please email publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07584 271 300