The Clean Air Zone in Bristol comes into play at the end of November 2022, and we’ve had many enquiries about how our electric bikes can help.
Clean Air Zones are being implemented in many UK cities now, and they range in size and restriction depending on local politics. One thing that’s certain though, is that buying an electric bike or an electric cargo bike is a great alternative to driving a petrol or diesel vehicle in a city centre.
It’s clear that private car ownership is incompatible with climate change targets and environmental models suggest that we must remove 1 in 5 car journeys today if we’re going to hit our CO2 reduction targets.
Electric bikes currently use Lithium batteries and while these are only 1% of the size of those in electric cars, they still give you a range of between 50 and 80 miles. The running cost of an electric bike is also 8-9 times cheaper than running a petrol or diesel car. But the main benefit of an electric bike or electric cargo bike over a traditional bike is that you can carry much larger and heavier loads with even less effort and of course, fly up hills with ease!
Clean Air Zone in Bristol: Why an e-bike over a normal bike?
The weight of an electric bike is a lot less important than a traditional bike, which allows you to build in added features for comfort and security without adding any extra weight. Front and rear suspension can improve ride quality on the UK’s poor quality roads and larger tyres will also smooth out the bumps more effectively and increase braking power.
E-bikes can also be built to be tougher and more durable than a normal bike and are definitely capable of carrying a lot more luggage than a regular bicycle, without you having to travel at a snail’s pace. You can also carry more locks and better quality ones as well as using tracking devices, some of which plug directly into the motor so don’t need recharging.
Electric bikes and cargo bikes are also seen by the UK government as one way to help solve the UK obesity crisis. As a form of active travel, they are more accessible to less active people and as such can help people get fitter and lose weight. Building exercise into your daily routine by commuting to work is also proved to be much more effective than less frequent organised exercise, like going to the gym.
A lot of people are worried about the Clean Air Zone in Bristol because they work in those centre, but an e-bike means you can commute without breaking much of a sweat!
Clean Air Zone in Bristol: Solving traffic problems
If you live or work in the city then you’ll know all about the traffic – the Clean Air Zone in Bristol is being implemented to help improve lengthy traffic jams in the centre – but of course people still need a way to get around.
Electric bikes and cargo bikes undoubtedly take up far less space on the roads and as such are capable of transporting far higher numbers of people across towns and cities given the UK’s limited road capacity. Many older towns and cities have narrow streets making them unsuitable for cars, but perfect for bicycles.
If you’d like to learn more about Clean Air Zones and why they’re popping up across the UK, head to our more in-depth blogpost.
So… why isn’t everyone riding an electric bike?
Electric bicycles still require effort to pedal as they are all pedal assisted by law, this means that if you don’t want to pedal, then you may be better off getting an electric moped.
There is also the UK weather to contend with, but this can be made better by wearing the right clothing, such as high quality waterproofs including gloves, socks and shoes.
The cost of maintenance may be an issue for some people, but most reputable bike shops will take a quick look at your e-bike for free and advise you if you do need any service or repair work done.
Additionally, when surveyed, nearly a third of non-bike riders said they were too afraid to cycle on the road as they ‘felt’ it was unsafe. This fear may be caused by negative attitudes to cycling in the media and the lack of infrastructure in towns and cities for cyclists. Women may also feel more vulnerable in unlit and lonely spaces.
People may also have disabilities which mean that it just wouldn’t be possible to use an electric bike of any type.
Clean Air Zones: The future
The UK government knows that in order to get people out of their cars and onto more active forms of transport they need to make it less attractive. As the Clean Air Zone in Bristol has shown, local councils are making driving more expensive and there’s already less road space and parking for cars in towns and cities.
We may be biased, but we think electric bikes and cargo bikes will undoubtedly have a role to play in replacing a lot of car journeys in the very near future, so why not get ahead and try one for yourself?