Successful e-bike scheme helps reduce car trips in Peterborough

02 September 2021

More than 3,000 journeys have been made as part of an e-bike trial in Peterborough, helping to reduce the number of short car trips in the city.

More than 1,000 riders have benefitted from the scheme which launched in January, helping to improve air quality and achieve a reduction of approximately two tonnes of CO2 thanks to people using the bikes instead of cars.

In total, cyclists in Peterborough taking part in the trial have travelled more than 30,000km over the past eight months.

The pilot project was set up by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, with the e-bikes supplied by European operator Voi.

Initially, 20 bikes were placed across Peterborough, but this has since expanded to 37.

And Voi is now expanding its presence further by covering Hampton and Hampton Hargate to encourage more people to replace their journeys into the town centre with e-bikes.

Voi e-bikes can be pedalled and are assisted by an electric motor, enabling them to travel up to speeds of 15.5 mph, and when fully charged they can ride up to 31 miles. Voi ensures bikes are always available 24/7 and remain powered up as batteries are swapped out by their teams overnight.

Users need to be 18 years old and over, are required to download the free Voi app and have to present at least a provisional driving license.

It costs £1 to unlock the e-bike and then £0.15 per minute of usage.

Voi also offers 24 hour (£10) and 30 day (£40) subscriptions that allow users to take an unlimited number of rides at a fixed rate.

In addition, there are discounts for students and those on a low income.

The e-bikes have to be left in pre-defined parking areas.

Cllr Peter Hiller, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for strategic planning and commercial strategy and investments, said: “The success of the e-bikes trial has shown the appetite for sustainable transport in Peterborough, something we are keen to progress.

“This scheme has proven that being environmentally-friendly need not be a burden, with the e-bikes allowing for quick, cheap journeys while also improving air quality in the city.

“It’s also great to see that scheme will now expand in Hampton, allowing residents there to enjoy the many benefits e-bikes bring.”

Cllr Nigel Simons, cabinet member for waste, street scene and the environment, said: “As a council we declared a climate emergency in 2019, and the success of the e-bikes trial shows our commitment to making our city a place where residents can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air.

“If you’ve not tried an e-bike yet I would encourage you to do so as it a cheap – and often quicker – alternative to using a car.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Projects that open up the opportunity for communities to choose a healthier, more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way to travel across Peterborough, rather than using the car, will always receive my support.

“I’m pleased to see the e-bike trial area is already expanding to allow more people to make use of this green travel option.”

Jack Salmer, general manager of Voi, said: "Our e-bikes are a great alternative to the car by offering access to a greener, more sustainable and convenient way to travel around town.

“Voi is committed to reducing pollution, improving air quality and, ultimately, making a positive impact on people's wellbeing, and are delighted to see thousands of people choosing to jump on our e-bikes for work, meet friends and to carry-out everyday errands, rather than clog up our towns and cities with cars.”