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Unique e-bike project visited by Cabinet Secretary for Transport

The Inverclyde Ebike Sharing Project is a collaboration between Community Tracks Inverclyde and Cloch Housing Association, funded by The Scottish Government in partnership with Nesta Sharelab.

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A unique project, where customers of Cloch Housing Association can hire electric bikes free of charge, was visited by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infra Structure and Connectivity Michael Mathieson this week. The Minister was accompanied by the local MP Ronnie Cowan and MSP Stewart McMillan.

The Inverclyde Ebike Sharing Project is a collaboration between Community Tracks Inverclyde and Cloch Housing Association, funded by The Scottish Government in partnership with Nesta Sharelab.

Approached by Community Tracks to be a partner in the project in late 2018, Cloch is now the Ebike hub in central Greenock where its customers and staff can hire an Ebike for up to a day, free of charge, and explore the outdoor spaces in, and around, Greenock, and beyond, with the help of a battery powered bike.

Cloch staff work with staff from Community Tracks Inverclyde to book out bikes and ensure customers know how to use the bikes and that they are safe to use. In August this year, four staff will attend a course on how to lead a guided ride.

Customers book online for a half or full day using a website/mobile app. The funding from the app came from Community Tracks Inverclyde after they received a grant from Nesta ShareLab. 

In its early stages, the partners in the project hope that, through time, riding an Ebike will be as normal as any other form of transport in Inverclyde.

During his visit, the Cabinet Secretary was able to book out a bike and meet the various staff and consultants involved in the project. He said he was delighted the project ties in with the government’s drive to stop social exclusion to accessing this type of transport.

Mr Mathieson said: “The Scottish Government believes that there is huge potential for the collaborative sharing economy to contribute to a fairer, more socially and environmentally responsible economy in Scotland. That is why we have invested £238,000 to deliver the ShareLab Scotland programme. Concluding this November, we will share key lessons and challenges in delivering collaborative economy initiatives at a local level, in order to support future innovation in this sector.   

“In May this year, we also announced £1.14 million for the eBike Grant Fund, delivered by Energy Saving Trust, to provide grants to community organisations, local authorities, public sector agencies, colleges and universities. This fund will allow people across Scotland to access the benefits of e-bikes in an affordable way.”

Liz Bowden, Corporate Services Manager at Cloch and project lead for Cloch, said: “A visit from Mr Mathieson has put a spotlight on an innovative project that promotes health and wellbeing as well as promoting sustainable transport.  And this is just the start of what we hope will be a permanent service for customers and the wider community in the months and years to come.”

Stewart Philips, Project Coordinator, Community Tracks Inverclyde, said: “This is a really exciting pilot project, and we were delighted to receive funding for it through the Scottish Government and Nesta. 

“The web app we have created is very flexible and will allow the addition of new partners and eBike locations as the project develops. 

“We are especially grateful to the whole team at Cloch Housing Association for being so enthusiastic about the project from the outset.”

Pictured: From left to right: Photo shows from left to right: Lisa Boosanong, Energy Activator; Liz Bowden, Corporate Services Manager; Stewart McMillan MSP; Paul McColgan, Property Services Officer; Cabinet Secretary Michael Mathieson; Kieran Wild, Sustran; Ronnie Cowan MP for Inverclyde; Stewart Phillips, Community Tracks Inverclyde; Kelly MacLean, Corporate Services Assistant; and Alana Durning, Finance Director.