The UK’s first cross regional electric bike hire scheme, Forth Bike, has been launched, connecting Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council areas.
The 120 ebike project - led by charity Forth Environment Link - is Scotland’s largest ebike hire share scheme overtaking city-wide schemes planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The £500k initiative, funded by Transport Scotland, NHS Forth Valley, SESTRAN, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Stirling Councils, includes 12 bike hire charging stations that will be installed across the Forth Valley area.
In Falkirk, two charging stations are already available at the Helix (Kelpies) and Forth Valley Royal Hospital with a further three coming on board at:
- Falkirk High Street
- The Falkirk Wheel
An annual pass for Forth Bike will cost £65 per year for unlimited journeys or £2 for a single journey – offering low cost access to high tech ebikes across the region from as little as 18p a day.
The scheme is easy to use, simply pick your membership type and once enrolled walk to a charging station, choose your bike and unlock it with your membership card or via the Forth Bike mobile app.
A screen on the bike tracks your rental time and a secondary lock means you can safely store the bike in a regular bike shelter when you need to make quick stops. When your rental is over, all you have to do is return the bike to the nearest charging station.
Early adopters of the scheme will be given a free one month trial.
George Callaghan, Transport Planning Officer, said: “Ebikes are growing in popularity but still remain an expensive option. This scheme is the perfect way to introduce people to the concept. For those with mobility issues, an ebike can be the way back into cycling. For people who think they are too unfit for cycling, they are the perfect way to try it out.
“By creating a network of charging stations across Forth Valley it is now possible to travel between Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk, sustainably and at a reasonable price. For the first month the ebikes are free, so there will never be a better opportunity to try one. With this scheme, all of the partners involved are looking for a big uptake in the number of journeys being made by bike across Forth Valley.”
Another ebike trial scheme is also available via Forth Environment Link’s Falkirk Active Travel Hub. Run in partnership with Home Energy Scotland, the scheme provides locals with the option to use an ebike from three days to three weeks free of charge.
If you’ve not tried an ebike and are a bit sceptical about the benefits of power assisted pedalling then read how two of our employees got on trialling the bikes via the travel hub.