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Region-wide e-bike campaign launches to protect and support the region’s workers

“We were introduced to the CEO of Rise, who was intrigued by the concept of using electric bikes to assist in their mission, which is to increase the activity levels of people who don’t exercise.”

A new campaign has launched across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear to offer a safer and healthier alternative to public transport as COVID-19 increases its grip once again on the nation.

The Tynemouth-based e-bike company Ride Electric and North East charity, Risehave today confirmed that ‘e-bikes for the Community’ will offer anyone currently in employment living within Northumberland and Tyne & Wear the opportunity to use one of Ride Electric’s state of the art e-bikes for six months.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the government has advised that if people can’t work from home, and have to travel to work, they should consider alternative ways to commute.

With the easing of lockdown measures over the summer months, an increasing number of people have been returning to the workplace, making it difficult for many commuters to find space on their usual modes of public transport.

The trial has had its initial launch in Wallsend. Ride Electric and Rise are currently calling on the town’s workers – as well as people living in Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and throughout Northumberland –  to get involved in the programme and swap public transport for an electric bike.

Ride Electric Business Development Manager, Sue Anderson, explains: “With Covid-19 advice in mind for those who have to travel to work, people can now consider changing their travel habits, which could be walking or cycling. Avoiding the morning rush, for example, will help people socially distance from each other. We can all play our part in following advice and help to reduce the pressure on public transport.”

Rebecca Bennett, active workplace manager at Rise, continues: “As well as providing a healthy and active way to get to work, e-bikes offer a way of avoiding the need to mix with others on public transport at a time when people are concerned about Covid-19.

Although there is a cost to trying the bikes for six months, it will be heavily subsidised by Rise and we hope that people will soon see the benefits of using bikes for their daily commute.”

Rise is a charitable organisation that works with the health sector, local government, education providers and businesses to develop more active communities across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Through activity and exercise, the charity aims to improve physical and mental health, increase educational attainment and create safer and more vibrant communities.

Rise approached Ride Electric after becoming aware of the company’s successful e-bike leasing schemes which it offers to a variety of employers and business parks. In the wake of COVID-19, it quickly turned its attention to the needs of key workers.

Soon after the announcement of a UK-wide lockdown in March, the Tynemouth-based company began loaning out its e-bikes to keyworkers over a 6-month period, allowing those without a car to stay safe on their journey to and from work.

Ride Electric said it was thrilled to be working with Rise on this new programme. Sue Anderson added: “We were introduced to the CEO of Rise, who was intrigued by the concept of using electric bikes to assist in their mission, which is to increase the activity levels of people who don’t exercise.

I think it’s fantastic that organisations like Rise exist; I think the work they do is so vital. Without these kinds of initiatives, a lot of people might not realise that they actually really enjoy exercising. 

The management of the charity is really fresh; it’s such an innovative organisation. They’re keen for change and they’re adventurous in the way they go about making that change.

For our existing e-bike schemes, we already have robust engagement methods in place for reporting, managing and tracking the activity levels of the people who use our bikes, which is exactly what Rise is aiming to do with this programme.”

Ride Electric and Rise hope the programme will encourage more people to take up cycling as well as produce evidence to demonstrate the potential of e-bikes as an alternative to motor vehicles, public transport and walking.

Sue Anderson is confident that participants will finish the programme feeling enthused about the benefits of cycling and sees potential for the programme to expand to other areas across the UK.

She concludes: “If the campaign is successful, reviews come back positive and activity levels increase amongst participants, the programme could be extended and offered to more people.

If anyone is interested in the ‘e-bikes for the community’ programme they can contact Rise on 07908 772 217, alternatively they can email, rebecca.bennett@wearerise.co.uk.

For more information about Rise visit wearerise.co.uk.