Island businesses have been getting on-board with sustainable travel by trying out electric bikes. The activity has been organised by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and has seen businesses including Isle of Wight College, Stainless Games, GKN, IW County Press and the Isle of Wight Council all try out an electric bike. Red Squirrel Electric Bikes in Newport supplied the bikes which came fitted with an odometer to measure the carbon-free mileage notched up by each business during their week-long loan.
GKN’s team were the clear winners of the mileage challenge, clocking up 85 miles of carbon-free travel during their week with an electric bike. GKN’s Anna Hughes welcomed the loan of the bike, saying that going electric made a real difference to the daily commute.
“The team here at GKN have found it really beneficial having the electric bike on loan.One of the team who tried it frequently commutes to work in East Cowes from Bembridge by bicycle, so certainly found the hill climbs a lot easier with the electric bike! He even said he didn’t get nearly as warm as usual on his cycle in to work as he wasn’t having to put in quite as much physical effort. Another member of the team had been considering trying an electric bike for a while and is now looking at hiring one personally to see how much difference it can make to his cycle times. We kept the bike on display in our communal kitchen area when it wasn’t being used and it generated a lot of buzz around the office. We would absolutely recommend that other businesses give an electric bike a try; it’s a fantastic way to promote health and wellbeing, and is such an easy way to encourage more sustainable business travel.”
80% of private car journeys entering Newport are single occupancy and nitrogen dioxide recordings taken in central Newport are well above the average recordings taken at other locations on the Island. That means that driving less really can make a difference, to the environment, employee health and business productivity.
“Electric bikes are perfect for business use,” says Zoe Stroud from Red Squirrel Electric Bikes. “The battery provides a subtle power boost which makes commuting easier. It’s also a perfect way to get to meetings near to your workplace. You’ll arrive buzzing with excitement and, thanks to the electric assist, as fresh as you would do having driven your car just without the hassle of traffic and parking.”
Picture: GKN’s Anna Hughes (left) with Nina Murphy from Red Squirrel Electric Bikes at Newport’s Guildhall