New Cycling Project Offers Free Bikes to Residents
Essex Pedal Power is a new community-based project, which will provide residents with a free quality bike to get them more active, whilst introducing a form of transport for work, school, college, shopping and leisure. Community hubs will be involved in rolling out the bikes, providing courses on how to ride safely and bike maintenance training.
A key priority for the Essex Local Delivery Pilot (ELDP) is to use data and research to introduce new opportunities, whilst listening to the needs of the local communities. Essex Pedal Power is a project that will truly encompass this ethos.
The Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot has created a partnership team and provided funding alongside other stakeholders including, Essex County Council and the Government’s Getting Building Fund, managed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). The project will be piloted in Clacton and Jaywick Sands and is due to launch in summer 2021.
77% of people living in low-income communities never ride a bike. The biggest barrier that stops them from cycling is the cost of a bike itself. Essex Pedal Power will help to tackle cycling inequality and make cycling available for everyone.
Additional support services will be delivered including training packages to assist residents to learn to ride a bike and undertake basic bike maintenance, as well as new cycle infrastructure, including local storage facilities and bike parking which will be planned and delivered in partnership with the local community. The project will create new community cycling clubs, and the feasibility of a new cycling facility in Jaywick Sands for children and young people.
Essex Pedal Power will be piloted in Clacton and Jaywick Sands and if successful, rolled out to other areas of Essex. The test and learn approach to the ELDP results in great projects like this being able to launch, ensuring greater opportunities for Essex residents. Alongside the bike scheme, the programme will include significant upgrades to the existing cycling infrastructure between Jaywick Sands and Clacton, including direct access to Clacton train station, Clacton High Street and the Pier.
The success of this project so far, has been largely down to the partners involved and the strength of working collaboratively across systems. The Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot, Essex County Council, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Tendring District Council and Sport England have been key players in making this exciting project happen, alongside local stakeholders and community groups, who will help to deliver Essex Pedal Power.