Join the TRAVEL ReVOLUTION
We’re encouraging residents to think about some travel alternatives this September. The council is giving people a chance to book a free session to try an electronic scooter or an e-bike at their TRAVEL ReVOLUTION Hub in St. George’s Square, outside Huddersfield train station.
The project has been funded through the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.
The physical and mental health benefits of exercise like scooting and cycling are well known, but for many the thought of travelling a long distance or over hilly terrain can be off putting. E-bikes and scooters make it easier and quicker to get from A to B, whilst still providing the health benefits of increased exercise.
Scooters and bikes offer an alternative for people wanting to avoid public transport due to social distancing as we ease out of lockdown. They are also CO2 produce less pollution than motor vehicles – so can help us tackle the climate emergency.
Currently, use of electric scooters on roads or pavements is not permitted in the UK however some local authorities are conducting a national pilot with the Department for Transport to test their use. Before this happens in Kirklees the council are keen to provide a scooter offer in a controlled and secure environment, within a cordoned off space, for people to test them and receive professional training about safe use.
When will trials be available?
The scooter trials will be on offer from 1st September for 4 weeks and delivered by Manchester-based company Scootfit who will be making sure the sessions are socially distanced and that the equipment is regularly cleaned.
Those taking part will start by learning to use a push-scooters before graduating to the e-scooters. E-bikes will also be available during the same period and on trial with support from our partners Legacy Ride.
Unfortunately for insurance purposes, we can only offer the e-scooter trials to over 16s and e-bikes to over 14s. Children over 4yrs who book a place with their parent or guardian can use the push-scooters we have on-site.
Will this be extended to other areas?
If the project is a success the council will look at extending the trial in other areas and consider other interventions to increase active travel in the district. If the trial is a success a similar trial could take place in Dewsbury town centre soon.
Due to the pandemic we are limiting sessions to a maximum of 6 people and sessions must be pre-booked. Please bring a face covering and your own helmet if possible. Helmets can be provided, in limited supply.
Cllr. Peter McBride said:
“During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased interest in cycling. Many bike shops are reporting high demand for bikes, which people are keen to use both for fun exercise, but also as a practical alternative to driving or public transport.
“Kirklees is certainly hilly, so electric bikes or scooters, which give you some extra power behind your pedals, can make active travel a more practical choice for many people.
“Because this technology is not yet widespread, we are using a Government grant to make e-scooters and bikes available for Kirklees residents to try out.
“Less people in cars is good for everyone – active travel has many health and wellbeing benefits, and it brings down pollution, which improves air quality and helps fight the climate emergency.
“Many people have said how noticeable the improvement has been from reduced traffic during the pandemic. We would like to try to maintain this as much as possible in the future, as part of our area’s recovery.
“Our Huddersfield and Dewsbury Blueprint regeneration plans have green and active travel as a core focus, and we are committed to be a net zero carbon emissions borough by 2038.”