NHS staff are getting on their e-bikes across Falkirk district

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Key workers are getting on their e-bikes thanks to two initiatives in Forth Valley.

E-bike use has soared in the past month, partly down to two lockdown initiatives giving keyworkers free access to electric bikes during the Covid-19 crisis.

Thanks to funding from Cycling Scotland, Forth Environment Link has offered keyworkers free annual memberships for its public electric bike hire scheme Forth Bike.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The charity has also given NHS staff exclusive access to its Energy Savings Trust funded e-bike lending library.

Helen Upfold, NHS worker with e-bikeHelen Upfold, NHS worker with e-bike
Helen Upfold, NHS worker with e-bike

Forth Bike usage skyrocketed during April, as Active Travel development manager Shirley Paterson explained: “In the past three weeks Forth Bike users have clocked up 10,000 miles, more than three times the monthly spring/summer average.

“With social distancing measures in place, cycling is proving to be one of the best ways to get around during the crisis. As expected, the main usage hotspots are in the vicinity of the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, with Stenhousemuir station seeing the greatest number of hires.”

The charity’s e-bike lending library has also been inundated with requests over the past four weeks - 32 e-bikes from the charity’s e-bike lending library have already been delivered direct to the homes of NHS and other keyworker staff across Forth Valley; with a further 13 e-bikes due to be delivered.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Active Travel coordinator Ray Burr said: “We’ve seen a huge surge in interest from keyworkers looking to commute by e-bike. The feedback we’ve received has been tremendous, with many staff commenting on the benefits to their physical and mental health.”

GP practice manager Pauline Robertson from Falkirk said: “I’ve absolutely loved having the e-bike over the past four weeks. I’m exercising more and that has made all the difference. I’m feeling a lot better, my energy levels have increased, and the feel-good factor has encouraged me to go out for more walks with my husband in the evening.”

Palliative care nurse Evelyn Paterson from Larbert said: “I'm loving the bike and loving cycling. I've obviously inspired some of my colleagues, as 3 of them now have bikes too. Every week I’ve cycled more. In week one, I cycled twice, in week two three times and in week three four times. I’ve hardly used any petrol in my car.”

Clinical research nurse Anne Todd from Larbert said: “I’m been loving the e-bike. I’ll definitely be buying one once I have to return it. It’s totally changed my commute to work.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Consultant physician Leah Leitch from Brightons added: “The e-bike has been brilliant. It’s meant that I’m cycling to work when I otherwise wouldn’t have had the energy, which has been great for my mental health.”

Macmillan Cancer Support nurse Helen Upfold from Airth said: “The e-bike has totally transformed my commute. Instead of hopping in the car, I’m using the bike five days a week. I’m enjoying the exercise and feeling much healthier for it. It’s been really good for my mental health too. The job I do can be quite emotionally draining and the fresh air is such a tonic.”

The charity is also offering free maintenance and repairs to keyworkers who have their own bikes, thanks to funding from Cycling UK, which includes access to pannier racks, helmets and locks.

For further information about borrowing or hiring an e-bike, or bike repairs, contact Ray Burr by emailing [email protected].

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Related topics: