SRUC Joined MSPs to Launch eCycle - Edinburgh Colleges’ and Universities’ Green Transport Initiative

Published Wednesday, 8th April 2015 in Campuses & Offices news

eCycle Launch, Edinburgh Colleges and Universities Represenatatives

SRUC’s Professor Geoff Simm joined MSPs and representatives from other Edinburgh Universities and Colleges on Calton Hill to launch a new, eco friendly cycle sharing scheme being rolled out.

The eCycle initiative involves six of Edinburgh’s leading Universities and Colleges, together with key partners. The battery-added bike sharing scheme is one of a number of projects the group is investigating as it seeks to lessen the environmental impact of travel around their various campuses and offices across the capital.

SRUC will launch the scheme to staff later this month – more information will be coming soon.

MSPs Sarah Boyack (Scottish Labour), Alison Johnstone (Scottish Greens), and Jim Eadie (SNP), all members of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cycling, braved the wild weather to get the scheme underway.

Speaking at the launch Co-Convenor Jim Eadie (SNP) said:
“I am delighted to support the Edinburgh Further and Higher Education Transport Group eCycle initiative. These electric bikes will make it easier for people to get on their bike and bring cycling to a new, wider audience.” 

Fellow Co– Convenor Alison Johnstone (Greens) commented:
“Cycling should be an easy and attractive option for a wide range of people, and I’m convinced that electric bikes are going to have a much bigger role in the coming years. I’m delighted that our universities and colleges are leading the way again and this project will see many benefits for individuals and the city.”

Scottish Labour MSP Sarah Boyack is Deputy–Convenor of the Cycling Group:
“This is an important initiative to see what role electric bikes can play in promoting sustainable travel in and around the city. Our colleges and universities are a great place to start with staff and students able to get involved.”

The Edinburgh Further and Higher Education Transport Group (EFHETG) is focussed on all aspects and modes of travel linked to their sector in and around The City of Edinburgh. Edinburgh College, Edinburgh Napier University, Queen Margaret University, Scotland’s Rural College, Transition Heriot-Watt and The University of Edinburgh are institutional members, representing a community of over 130,000 people. SEStran and Sustrans provide strategic support to the Group.

EFHETG has 28 electrically assisted bicycles (plus an electric cargo bike) to form the innovative eCycle Scheme. Using the eCycles, the group will encourage members of the further and higher education community to consider cycling as an alternative to single car occupancy or public transport for personal and business journeys. The eCycles will be managed locally at each institution and will be available on a shared basis with training provided if required. Riders will be provided with locks, panniers, a high visibility vest and a helmet.

The initiative is supported by a generous grant of £25,000 from SEStran with match funding by the Group. Chair of SEStran, Cllr Russell Imrie noted

“SEStran is proud to support the Edinburgh Further and Higher Education Transport Group’s eCycle scheme. The Scheme is a great example of what working in partnership can achieve. Cycling for shorter journeys is great exercise, and helps tackle traffic congestion on the region’s roads and to reduce our carbon footprint. Electrically assisted cycles are also a great way for those who are new, or those returning to cycling, to give it a go”.

Jamie Pearson, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, noted:

“I’m delighted with the financial support SEStran and our own institutions have provided towards the eCycle Scheme. Through travel surveys and discussions within our sector we’re very aware that many members of our community would be willing to try cycling, or cycle more, with a bit of additional resource and support. Users will still have to physically pedal the eCycles but the motor and battery attached will boost confidence, add support to increased mobility and, from personal experience, make going up hills an absolute breeze!”.

The Scheme will act as a test-bed to provide more information on cycling within the further and higher education sector. It will aid local and national strategies to increase cycling and, as part of institutional travel plans, support the reduction of carbon emissions associated with personal and business travel in and around Edinburgh.

EFHETG has 28 electrically assisted bicycles (plus an electric cargo bike) to form the innovative eCycle Scheme. Using the eCycles, the group will encourage members of the further and higher education community to consider cycling as an alternative to single car occupancy or public transport for personal and business journeys. The eCycles will be managed locally at each institution and will be available on a shared basis with training provided if required. Riders will be provided with locks, panniers, a high visibility vest and a helmet.

The initiative is supported by a generous grant of £25,000 from SEStran with match funding by the Group. Chair of SEStran, Cllr Russell Imrie noted

“SEStran is proud to support the Edinburgh Further and Higher Education Transport Group’s eCycle scheme. The Scheme is a great example of what working in partnership can achieve. Cycling for shorter journeys is great exercise, and helps tackle traffic congestion on the region’s roads and to reduce our carbon footprint. Electrically assisted cycles are also a great way for those who are new, or those returning to cycling, to give it a go”.

Jamie Pearson, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, noted:

“I’m delighted with the financial support SEStran and our own institutions have provided towards the eCycle Scheme. Through travel surveys and discussions within our sector we’re very aware that many members of our community would be willing to try cycling, or cycle more, with a bit of additional resource and support. Users will still have to physically pedal the eCycles but the motor and battery attached will boost confidence, add support to increased mobility and, from personal experience, make going up hills an absolute breeze!”.

The Scheme will act as a test-bed to provide more information on cycling within the further and higher education sector. It will aid local and national strategies to increase cycling and, as part of institutional travel plans, support the reduction of carbon emissions associated with personal and business travel in and around Edinburgh.

Photograph Caption: Representatives from six Edinburgh Universites and Colleges. SRUC's Geoff Simm is second from the right

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