Free e-bike loan scheme books up within hours

Two people pedalling next to MediaCity in Salford, Manchester prior to the Cycling made e-asy launch
Credit Rob Spanring/ Cycling UK
A new government-backed scheme for free e-bike loans launched by Cycling UK was fully booked within hours of going live

‘Making cycling e-asier’ was launched on Thursday May 12 to help the nation try e-cycling and accelerate a shift to active travel. As proof of the interest among the public in e-cycling, more than 110 bookings were made in Manchester within two hours – almost one bike per minute. The scheme allows people to enjoy loans of a huge range of e-cycles from top brands, including non-standard e-cycles and cargo bikes.

Over the coming months, Cycling UK is planning to roll out the scheme in other possible locations across England. 

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said:

“The fact that we’ve had such a strong interest in Making cycling e-asier is a testament to the appetite for e-cycles in Manchester. This unique scheme gives participants free loans of e-cycles and will remove many perceived barriers, which may have otherwise held them back. We hope that this helps them to make changes to their travel habits.”

The scheme was made possible after the Department for Transport committed up to £8million to cycling projects in 2022-23.

The plan now is to quadruple the amount of e-cycles available in Manchester over the coming months; in the meantime people can join the waiting list.

A video from the launch, featuring Active Travel England commissioner Chris Boardman, can be viewed here: 

Photographs of the launch can be found here:


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.
  2. The Department for Transport works with its agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. It plans and invests in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move.
  3. The new executive agency, Active Travel England, will deliver the Government’s cycling and walking priorities, enabling more people in England to choose walking and cycling for their everyday journeys.

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