Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Dame Sarah Storey riding e-bikes image

Manchester celebrates 100 years of Bike Week with 55km e-cycle relay around the city 

Cycling UK’s Making cycling e-asier scheme launched in Manchester last year and has since successfully given Mancunians the chance to try e-cycling for free.

On Tuesday, 6 June 2023, riders set off from Evans Cycles at Cheetham Hill and proceed to pedal 55km on e-cycles via community hubs and workplaces who deliver the scheme. Khizra Mosque, Stretford Public Hall, Wheels for All, which provides adapted e-cycles, and Wythenshawe Hospital will all take part and welcome riders for refreshments as they pass.

Ahead of the relay, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Dame Sarah Storey, Greater Manchester Active Travel Commissioner, will lead an expert panel discussion around e-cycle schemes and why Making cycling e-asier is vital to encouraging communities to consider e-cycling for short everyday journeys.

James Scott, director of behaviour change & development at Cycling UK said: 

“Cycling UK is delighted to celebrate the success of Making cycling e-asier during the 100th year of Bike Week. Manchester is a cycling city, so it’s no surprise to see Cycling UK’s free e-cycle scheme being so well received here, with some beneficiaries going on to purchase their own e-cycle following a free one-month loan or skills and confidence session.

“The Bike Week 100-year anniversary: Manchester e-cycle relay gives us the opportunity to celebrate the amazing Making cycling e-asier hubs across the city who are embedded in local communities and provide an e-cycle experience for people of all abilities.”

Recent months have seen traffic volumes above pre-pandemic levels in Greater Manchester with many of the region’s roads and junctions at or close to capacity at peak times. With TfGM looking to provide more alternatives to driving, Cycling UK is keen to point out the benefits when people drive less and cycle more, as they can avoid sitting in traffic jams while building exercise into their daily commute.

Greater Manchester’s active travel commissioner, Dame Sarah Storey, said:  

“I have an e-bike and they are such a versatile option and a great way for people to get into cycling. Cycling UK is doing fantastic work providing opportunities to access e-cycles as well as training to give people, who might not otherwise have tried cycling, the confidence to use them.

“I’m looking forward to joining them on Tuesday to celebrate the 100th year of Bike Week and hope as many people as possible – regardless of age or experience – take the opportunity to get out on their own bike or one they may have loaned.”

Manchester residents can access free one-month e-cycle loans from Evans Cycles in Cheetham Hill, or free one-month loans and skills and confidence sessions from community hubs including Khizra Mosque and Stretford Public Hall. Staff employed by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust can also access the scheme which is based at Wythenshawe Hospital.

Making cycling e-asier e-cycle delivers part of the Prime Minister’s ambitious Cycling and Walking Plan (Gear Change) to boost cycling and walking, with a vision for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.

Cycling UK’s extensive experience of engaging with underrepresented groups means they recognise the barriers, challenges and perceptions that can deter people from trying cycling. Through their tried and tested behavioural change models, Cycling UK has the ability to deliver projects and programmes that attract diverse groups and empower communities.

People can sign up and find more information about the scheme via Cycling UK’s website.

One month e-cycle loans and skills and confidence sessions are based on a first come first serve basis with limited availability.

Confirmed Making cycling e-asier partners, supporting the delivery include, Evans Cycles, Raleigh Bikes, Specialized, Tier Mobility, Islabikes, Wheels for All, Bikeworks, Fusion Media, Modeshift, Cyclescheme, Bike Right, Sharebike, Transport for Quality of Life.

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