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04/04/2012 // INFO Leave a comment

Electric bike scheme could lift National Park tourism

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E-bike

An interesting project up in the Yorkshire Dales could potentially be of benefit to electric bike users and bike tourism around the Dales. 

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is hoping to launch a Dales Electric Bicycle Network as part of the Dales Integrated Transport Alliance’s (DITA) ‘Connecting the Dales’ project.

Businesses involved in the tourist trade in the Dales are being asked to consider either becoming locations where cyclists can recharge electric bike batteries or bike hubs where visitors can hire the bicycles.

E-bikes can help

Kath Needham, the YDNPA’s Sustainable Tourism Officer, told us that many people who enjoy cycling dismiss biking in the Dales as too challenging because they aren’t super fit.

“But electric bikes are great for ‘flattening’ hills – giving visitors the chance to choose a green form of transport on which to enjoy this fantastic but fragile countryside rather than in a car.”

Success in other national parks

There have been successful launches of electric bike schemes in the Lake District and the Peak District national parks, and electric bikes appear to be a real draw to visitors in those locations.

From a business owner’s point of view, hiring out bikes or acting as a charging point would be a great commercial opportunity, Kath stated. Combining places to stay, eat and rest with bikes could be a reason why tourists would pick a place to go or stay over others.

For instance, if you’re a café, being a charge point could attract customers to you who could eat and drink while they charge up their battery for the next stage of their ride.

Next stage

Kath said the next stage of the proposed Dales Electric Bicycle Network would see the Electric Bicycle Network – the company who set up both the national parks projects – bring a couple of the bikes around the area, in order for those businesses that are interested to have a go on the bikes and see what they think. This will also be a chance for them to ask questions about the scheme.

“Following on from this we hope there will be enough businesses interested to launch a functioning network by late Spring.”

The DITA  ‘Connecting the Dales’ project funding extends beyond the Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary, the wider geographical area is contained within Richmond, Bedale, Ripon, Harrogate, Ilkley, Skipton, Settle, Bentham, Kirkby Lonsdale and Kirkby Stephen.

Hiring e-bikes has been tipped as one of the five, green holiday trends for 2012 by the highly regarded Green Traveller website.


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See also

£5m investment into Welsh cycling and walking routes

Tricycle riding 10-year old charged for bike theft

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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