The Leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Tom Ross, is trailing an electric bike to encourage more people to switch to two wheels and sign up for Cycle September.
Cllr Ross has been notching up the miles on a cutting-edge ebike, which has been lent to him for a month as part of Cycling UK’s Making cycling e-asier scheme.
As well as inspiring cyclists of all abilities to saddle up, Cycle September also lets participants track the amount of carbon they are saving by leaving the car at home – something Cllr Ross is keen to promote as the Green City-Region lead for Greater Manchester.
Reducing the number of trips made by car - or any other vehicle creating CO2 - is also key to delivering on one of Trafford Council’s three corporate priorities, which is ‘addressing our climate crisis’.
Cllr Ross said: “I’m passionate about any kind of travel that means there are less vehicles on the road causing pollution.
“In Trafford we want to show that there are real alternatives to driving and thanks to my month using an ebike I’ve learnt that first hand. It’s been a great experience which has brought down any barriers there were to stop me cycling. I’d encourage anyone who’s been thinking about to give it a go and get some miles under their belt for Cycle September.”
Jenny Box, deputy director of Cycling UK’s free Making cycling e-asier scheme said:
“Cycling UK is delighted Cllr Tom Ross is leading the way for Cycle September on one of Making cycling e-asier’s e-bikes.
“Whether you’re looking to save money on the commute and those shorter journeys, feel healthier or reduce your carbon footprint, cycling is a great way to travel round Manchester – and with an e-cycle you’ll soon be looking for more excuses to get out and ride.”
To support the Council’s corporate priority of addressing our climate crisis, the Council is delivering accessible active travel schemes across Trafford, including developing a strategic North Active Travel Corridor, from the M60 Junction 7, through Stretford, into Manchester.
The Council has furthermore shown its commitment to sustainable travel through its partnership with the electric charging network Be. EV. As a result of this collaboration, Trafford will shortly become home to Greater Manchester's biggest ultra-rapid EV hub when 16 new charging bays open at Sale Water Park. This is on top of the 41 chargers which have already gone live across the borough.
The Council currently offers a Cycle to Work scheme to all its employees which allows access to bikes and safety equipment tax free, as part of the government's Green Transport Plan.
The Cycle September initiative, which runs throughout the whole month, participants track their miles, compete against other workplaces, win prizes, and see how they are reducing their carbon footprint, at the same time.
Funded by Department for Transport, Making cycling e-asier is a free e-cycle scheme run by Cycling UK. Anyone in Manchester can access free one-month e-cycle loans and skills and confidence sessions, giving them the tools to feel safe and comfortable e-cycling regularly.