press release 6/10/20
The Beyond the Bicycle Coalition calls for an e-cargo bike grant scheme specifically targeted to improve the quality of life of elderly and Disabled people
Following the successful implementation of the e-cargobike Grant for businesses in 2019 and for Local Authorities earlier this year, the Beyond the Bicycle Coalition has written to Cycling and Walking Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, recommending to allocate a new tranche of the e-cargobike Grant targeted to the people who have suffered the most from the pandemic, namely elderly and disabled people.
In order to rebuild physical and emotional fitness after many having spent months shielding, and to increase their chance of successfully fighting off Covid-19 should they catch it, Disabled and older people need to be as physically active as possible. For many, cycling is easier than walking and therefore provides an ideal way to build physical activity, as well as to reduce isolation and provide a sustainable mode of door to door transport. A wide range of cycles exist that make cycling accessible to people of all ages and abilities and e-power provides the ideal additional support many need to deal with hills, distances, etc.
Without doubt a Grant for the purchase of electric cargo bikes and adaptive cycles for the benefit of Disabled and elderly citizens would be immensely popular for the recipients and the public at large.
We therefore strongly recommend the Department for Transport to launch an e-cargo bike grant scheme specifically targeted to elderly and Disabled people, with urgency and generosity.
- The Beyond the Bicycle Coalition is an initiative set up in 2017. We are a group representing users of non-standard cycles (e.g. handcycles, e-cycles, cargobikes) with the aim of facilitating discussion and developing ideas that will lead to improved infrastructure, facilities and recognition, along with reduced user costs, for users of non-standard cycles in London – including, but not limited to, Disabled people, cargo, freight and family cyclists.
- In recent research, the charity Wheels for Wellbeing, founding member of the Coalition, found that 75% of disabled cyclists find cycling easier than walking. Their cycle is their mobility aid (as a mobility scooter would be). However, their research also finds that COST is consistently one of the top three barriers to cycling for Disabled people. A Grant for All Ability Cycles (as is already available in Scotland) would be an important step towards levelling up and making a huge difference to the mobility of Disabled and older people.
- Hundreds of Cycling Without Age initiatives have been established all over the world, where volunteers offer rides to people in care homes using cycle taxis. People with dementia benefit particularly from these initiatives. As the Economist has recently reported, people with dementia are the group who has most suffered from the pandemic.
- For further details, please contact Andrea Casalotti, 077 2788 3475