Orwell Housing gains seven electric bikes for residents and staff in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Lowestoft

Chris Slade of Bike Plus (L to R) Anna Mitchell of Sustainable Venture Development Partners, Paul Ki

Chris Slade of Bike Plus (L to R) Anna Mitchell of Sustainable Venture Development Partners, Paul Kingston Director of Housing and Care Services at Orwell Housing Association, Sharon Payne of Suffolk County Council and Andrew Worsworth of Sustainable Venture Development Partners at the launch of the e-bike scheme.

Seven new electric bikes have been distributed across homes in Suffolk as part of a government scheme to get more people cycling.

Orwell Housing Association was chosen to take part in the Compass Bikes project, which is funded by the Department of Transport, by Sustainable Ventures in London.

The e-bikes, which offer cyclists pedal assistance, will be available to residents and staff in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Lowestoft on a shared usage basis.

Launched on Wednesday at Orwell Housing Association’s head office in Ipswich, the bikes will be available free of charge to those who join as scheme members, the e-bikes will be available to book for up to 20 hours at a time.

Paul Kingston, director of housing and care services at Orwell Housing Association, said: “When Sustainable Ventures first approached me regarding this initiative I was, as a keen cyclist, immediately enthusiastic.

“We are lagging behind our European colleagues with regard to bike usage so I share the Department of Transport’s aspirations to increase the number of cyclists on our streets.

“The bicycles will be used by Orwell’s tenants and staff and will hopefully prove to be very popular and an enjoyable mode of transportation.”

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The scheme with Orwell includes an e-bike being stationed at Levington Court in Lowestoft, which has sheltered housing. The e-bikes’ pedal assistance gives those who would like to cycle, but are perhaps unable to do so with conventional bikes, extra support.

Compass Bikes is one of eleven projects being funded by the Department of Transport in order to accelerate e-bike uptake across the UK.

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