As predicted by Cycle Lifestyle magazine, e-bikes are the future of transport in London.
Next year, Boris Johnson is introducing a pilot scheme that breaks new ground in the UK. An e-bikes rental scheme will be introduced in some of the capital’s hilliest areas, including Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Alexandra Palace, with a base station at Finsbury Park Tube. Boris bike-style docking stations will double as electric charging points.
E-bikes will provide a useful supplement to buses, which are currently the only form of public transport in these hilly parts of Haringey. Cycle routes will also be provided, linking into a network of ‘quietways’ consisting of bike-friendly backstreets and parks.
In a related development, beat officers in the Metropolitan Police will be given electric mountain bikes to help in the fight against cycle-mounted crimes such as muggings. Police on e-bikes will be able to chase criminals into places inaccessible to cars.
Well done Boris! Although government schemes such as these can’t do it all alone, hopefully they will inspire Londoners to invest in their own electric bikes. Potential uptake will depend in large part on the quality of the promised network of quietways. How well will these quietways link with other cycle routes throughout the capital? And how well signed will the routes be?