The roll-out of further electric bike stations around Exeter will help the city’s ambitions to become net carbon zero by 2030, the City Council has said.
Co Bikes, part of the Co Cars group of shared mobility services, has announced new electric bike stations for Sidwell Street, Cowick Street and at Exeter College’s Future Skills Centre near Exeter Airport.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Net Zero Exeter 2030, said: “It’s great news that Co Bikes are expanding their network across the city and giving more and more people a viable alternative to using the car. This is another significant contribution towards helping us become a zero carbon city by 2030.”
The Sidwell Street station is now open and can be found in front of the British Heart Foundation store. The Cowick Street station will be located at St Thomas Precinct. Works on this location are currently underway and are due to be completed in early March.
Once lockdown eases, there will also be a Co Bikes dockless station located outside Exeter College’s newest site, the Future Skills Centre near Exeter Airport.
This will increase the number of Co Bikes stations available in Exeter to 16, with further locations around the city due to be announced in the coming weeks.
The new locations will help support the growth in cycling levels seen since the start of the pandemic. Use of the Co Bike network increased by over 400 per cent across 2020. The bikes are the ideal alternative to the car for fast, safe and socially distant cross city trips.
When the Future Skills Centre station opens, College staff will be given three months free access to Co Bikes. John Laramy CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Exeter College, said: “Once we have emerged from lockdown, Co Bikes will be a great alternative to the car for staff travelling between our Exeter sites, including the Future Skills Centre. I hope they will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to experience the fun – and ease – of trying an e-bike for themselves. I’m a huge fan!”
Mark Hodgson, Managing Director of Co Cars, added: “Our e-bikes are the perfect way to move around Exeter. The electric assist gives you an extra boost to eat up the miles – and hills – making them the ideal way to travel around the city whilst enjoying some sustainable exercise, no matter what your fitness level.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “Following the introduction of Co Bikes’ first dockless stations last autumn, it’s fantastic to now see them adding even more stations, connecting up new areas of the city.
“Over the last year interest in cycling – and especially using e-bikes – has seen a huge surge in popularity. The continued expansion of Co Bikes, in partnership with Devon County Council, will give even more people access to this sustainable travel choice.”
The Co Bikes network is powered by nextbike, who operate shared bike schemes in 200 cities around the world. Because Co Bikes are electrically assisted, they make cycling a breeze, even uphill.
Co Bikes is part of Co Cars, the car club for people, communities and businesses across Exeter and the South West. Together, the cars and bikes form an economical, equitable and sustainable network of shared transport options to help reduce our dependence on private car ownership.