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Ebikes for big city life

To the frustration of some car drivers, the Government is making it more and more difficult to drive a motorised vehicle in cities. But don’t be one of those frustrated motorists – the measures are being put in place to benefit everyone.

We’ll take you through the steps being taken and the compelling reasons behind them. It all adds up to a great case for ditching the gas guzzler and jumping on an ebike instead for speedy and stress-free short journeys. After all, if you can’t beat them – join them!

 

Highway Code improvements for cyclists

From giving cyclists more space and greater right of way, to changing the way motorists must open their car doors to ensure they don’t take anybody out, many of the new Highway Code changes that came into effect on the 31st January are designed with the safety of cyclists front and centre.

If road safety concerns have been one of the barriers stopping you from switching to two wheels, know that the law is now firmly on your side.

 

Clean Air Zones (CAZ)

In a bid to improve air quality in key areas, many major cities are this year following in London’s footsteps by introducing Clean Air Zones. While each scheme varies, charges will be applied to certain types of vehicle as they cross the threshold into participating cities, encouraging people to find other modes of transport, and generating income to support those alternative methods.

 

Limited access areas

In addition to charges for crossing into city borders, many city centres are introducing completely car-free (or almost car-free) zones – an approach that has seen success in European capitals such as Rome and Madrid. While usually only covering pockets of the city, with access granted to those areas on a limited basis, for example using car registration identification cameras, they are a powerful step towards making getting around easier for those on foot or two wheels – and making it more complex to cut through the centre by car.

 

Sustainable transport routes

The government recognises that the prospect of cycling on the road can be a deterrent to switching to cycling. SusTrans maps are a valuable free resource for cyclists, showing traffic-free cycle routes around the country for a stress-free commute – or a leisurely weekend cycle ride. They’re free to download or available to purchase in hard copy.

 

Making parking harder

No, we’re not talking about complex reverse manoeuvres, but rather, the limited availability of parking places in city centres, and more heavy-handed fines for any infringements, whether that be overstaying or parking in the wrong place. With research suggesting that reducing parking spaces encourages the greater use of different modes of transport, plus of course the high cost of land in city centres, it’s natural that government would want to discourage additional car parking except for accessibility.

 

Increased investment in cycle route schemes

 It’s not that the government and local councils are only about making life harder for drivers… there are lots of initiatives aimed at making cycling much more accessible to all. Multimillion pound investment has gone into fixing dangerous junctions, reducing traffic levels, building better surfaces, creating more accessible paths, improving route signage and creating on-street cycle parking to try and make cycling a very real choice.

 

 Why is the government making these changes?

 Every benefit to the individual also has positive ramifications for the wider infrastructure of our towns and cities, making it a bit of a win-win.

 

Reduced congestion

Congestion isn’t fun for anyone! Taking motor vehicles off the street not only enhances the area for those that live there, it will make the roads a safer and more enjoyable place for those that do use them (preferable in an electric vehicle). It’s not just air pollution from vehicles affecting our cities. Noise pollution can negatively impact mental health and wellbeing, too.

 

Decarbonisation

Carbon emissions is a topic on everyone’s lips right now, with both individuals and local governments all looking for ways to do their bit. Switching to an ebike is an easy way to do your bit for the environment because it’s so much fun! And saves you money too.

 

Help the NHS

By making our roads safer there will be fewer serious road accidents, meaning reduced impact on the NHS. By encouraging cycling over driving, people can enjoy a wide range of physical and mental health benefits, again leading to the freeing up of resources in the NHS and local doctor’s surgeries.

 

Reduced road maintenance

Heavy car usage necessitates constant road maintenance by local councils, including repairs to surface and drainage. Saving money in this area means the budget can be reallocated to further improvements in the cycling infrastructure – which goes on and on in a virtuous cycle!

 

Conserving resources

When people make the switch from bike to car, they not only cut their emissions, they cut down their consumption of worldwide material resources. More so than a regular bike, an electric bike can be a very real alternative to a car. Less material and energy resource is required to make an ebike than a car, which in turn decreases CO2.

 

We hope you’ll agree that all these changes are a fantastic move in the right direction – for everyone. But especially for ebikers!

 

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