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New Otley bike firm hoping to win over commuters
2:00pm Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
Anyone considering cycling to work but deterred by the thought of tough hills could be about to have their dreams answered – by a new Otley company.
Lee Robinson and Ian Morton, the owners of electric cycle company e-bikehire.com, hope the prospect of getting some powered assistance will encourage more people to plump for two wheels.
The company is an approved supplier of the tax-free national bike2work scheme, designed to help commuting employees leave their cars at home. The timing of its launch also coincides with the Government’s announced proposals for a £77 million Cycle City initiative, which could see a 14-mile cycle highway created from east Leeds to Bradford.
Mr Robinson said: “With electric bikes costing just a few pence to travel about 40 miles, they are a green and economical option for employees commuting to work.
“E-bikes remove all the normal barriers to ordinary cycling to work, such as tackling hills and arriving at work needing a shower, with the option of reverting to pedal power for the flat.
“Cycling in Yorkshire is riding high with the Grand Yorkshire Depart in 2014, and the news about a multi-million pound investment in the region’s city cycle paths should encourage commuters to ditch their cars and get on their bikes.”
Electric bikes can travel at a consistent 15mph for up to 40 miles per battery charge, at a cost of between 3p and 7p, and are recharged by plugging into an ordinary power socket.
E-bikehire.com offers people the chance to try the bikes, which cost from £849, first and will also handle the bike2work registration process for employers.
Leeds-based Simon Young, managing partner of Aysgarth Accountants Ltd, has trialled one. He said: “Electric bikes make the bike2work scheme even more of an attractive initiative for people who aren’t necessarily super-fit cyclists. These bikes are perfect for city workers fed up of traffic congestion, high fuel charges and parking costs.”
Jill Beecroft, a Harrogate-based distributor for anti-ageing company Nu Skin, added: “Electric bikes are great for travelling round to business meetings and enjoying the scenery. Employers can also take advantage of the brilliant bike2work tax free scheme to promote a healthier work/life balance for their staff – a win-win all round.”
The Otley firm was set up earlier this year after interior designer Mr Morton had come across electric bikes while on holiday in the Canary Islands. As well as selling electric bikes, the company offers self-hire and guided e-bike tours of the Yorkshire Dales, including some of the planned 2014 Tour de France route.
Under the bike2work scheme, businesses can buy bikes tax-free for employees in exchange for a salary deduction of the price over an 18-month period.
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