Gateshead Council employees with the men behind Ride Electric
Ride Electric is on track to turnover £1.5m over 3 years and will undergo a large-scale recruitment drive.
Gateshead Council is the latest institution to partner with Tyneside's expanding eBike firm Ride Electric as it looks to transform the way its employees travel.
Ride Electric - which supplies state-of-the-art electric bikes to the business community from its base in North Shields - has said it is calling on all councils in the North East to follow Gateshead Council's “forward-thinking” approach to sustainable and green employee transport and hopes to expand its service to all local authorities in the region by the end of 2019.
Speaking on the launch of its eBike initiative with the council, Ride Electric's general manager, Craig Goff-Cooper, said: “eBikes provide a whole new mode of transportation and we're delighted that Gateshead Council has embraced the technology we provide.
“Public transport isn't always reliable and parking is often a major problem for people. Driving short distances to work and to meetings every day can also be extremely uneconomical.
“We want to get people active to and from work and in and around the workplace and we believe our eBikes provide the ultimate solution. We're confident more councils in the area will follow Gateshead Council's lead and provide eBikes for their employees.
“Every single person who has tested out our bikes on behalf of the council has come back with a smile on their face. It's great to see and we're confident that our new partnership will pave the way for a more active future for their staff members.”
As part of the new partnership, employees of Gateshead Council are now able to reserve eBikes using the council's internal booking system for free and will be able to enjoy the cutting-edge technology during work hours to allow them to get to meetings and journey to site visits throughout the town.
Ride Electric is currently taking members of the council's staff out for 'experience days' where they can get to grips with their new bikes and understand how they work.
“Gateshead is the perfect environment to test the capability of eBikes,” continues Ride Electric managing director, David Anderson.
“There are some big hills in this area and it's been great to see employees tackle them with ease and understand that there are no limits to what they can do regardless of their age or level of fitness.
“We want to change the culture and the mindset of people here in the UK and we've been approaching councils directly to let them know that there is another way. We want to show them just what a massive difference eBikes can make to people's lives.”
John McElroy, Gateshead Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport said: “The provision of electric bikes is just one of the measures we have introduced as part of our sustainable travel plan to encourage employees to use alternative forms of transport when travelling during their working day.
“The electric bikes join our existing pool of pedal bikes and are great to use for longer journeys or for when Gateshead’s hills would make it difficult for most people to use a pedal bike.
“We’re keen for more employees to use them to help reduce the number of cars on our roads, improve employee’s fitness and reduce mileage costs.”
Emma Allan, Gateshead Council's assistant transport planner, adds: “The feedback from our staff to the eBikes has been tremendous and momentum is starting to build. It gives them a whole new way of travelling on work journeys. We can see the positive difference they’re making to people both physically and mentally.
“Long-term, we'd love to see more electric bikes being available for our workforce for work journeys. Hopefully, we'll be in a position to increase the fleet in the not so distant future.”
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