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Londoner riding Barclay Bikeshare bicycle.
Londoner riding Barclay Bikeshare bicycle.

London Transport to Trial Electric Bikes

City of London plans to trial electric-assist bicycles in three different operations: public hire, police department and with a commercial company for staff use.

As part of the City of London's plans to make it more bicycle-friendly, it will initiate three trial programs with electric assist bicycles. Under the section entitled "Exploring the potential of electric bikes," the government explains e-bikes are "particularly useful for people who need to ride in a suit without breaking sweat, or to ride up hills, or to travel long distances, who are older or less fit, or who are otherwise put off by the physical effort of an ordinary bike. As such, they could be hugely important in our goal of bringing nontraditional groups to cycling."

The three trial programs include the follow:

• A small trial of public hire e-bikes, similar to Barclays Cycle Hire but self-contained and geographically separate from it, probably to link a hilly place without rail access to a nearby Tube station.

• A trial of the latest all-terrain, full-suspension electric mountain bikes with the Metropolitan Police. These bikes go over rough ground faster than a normal bike goes over tarmac, and also climb stairs. With criminals increasingly using (ordinary) bikes, e-bikes will keep the police one step ahead.

• An e-bike trial with a high-profile company whose staff are seen moving around the streets a lot, perhaps a courier firm or an estate agent.

The city says it will "seek funding from public budgets and commercial sponsorship for three trials to give e-bikes a high media profile, raise awareness of them and allow us to assess their potential for wider use."

Posted By: Bill Moore [25-Mar-2013]