Councillor John Hobart (L) and Paul Mocroft (R)

A new electric bike hire service has launched from an Island business, thanks to funding from the Isle of Wight Council.

The Bay Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Freshwater Bay, secured funding competitively from the council’s Active Travel Innovation Grant last autumn to support a new initiative aiming to attract active travellers to explore the West Wight – using electric bikes (e-bikes).

Councillor John Hobart, cabinet member for environment and heritage, said:

“I attended the launch on behalf of the council and it was great to see the e-bikes in action – they’re great for lapsed cyclists or those just starting out and I’m sure they will be a great success with visitors who want to include active travel in their stay on the Island and I hope they will encourage others to drive less and see more of our beautiful Island, it’s certainly encouraged me.”

The Bay Boutique Bed and Breakfast operates as an environmentally sustainable business and these new bikes will be charged by solar panels, making them an even greener form of transport.

The e-bikes will also be available to hire by any Freshwater Bay visitors whether self-catering or staying in other bed and breakfasts and a partnership with Wight Cycle Hire will ensure larger groups can have access to e-bikes too.

Owner of The Bay Boutique Bed and Breakfast, Paul Mocroft said:

“This is an exciting undertaking for us. The new e-bikes will be available for guests to discover the Island at their own pace. The advantage of e-bikes is that you don’t have to be an expert cyclist or super fit to have a go. Knowing you’ve got an electric motor to boost your journey gives you the confidence to go further and tackle those hills with ease.”

As part of the grant, The Bay staff have put together suggested walk and cycle routes to inspire and motivate guests and support their West Wight adventure.

The Active Travel Innovation Grant forms part of a wider programme of sustainable transport interventions being delivered by the Isle of Wight Council over the next three years, using funding from the Department for Transport. The fund will reopen for applications in spring 2018.

Isle of Wight Council has secured £1.35m funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) Access Fund for Sustainable Travel to deliver a series of sustainable transport projects and interventions over three years to 2020. The funding builds upon previous DfT investment on the Island through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (2012-2016) and the Sustainable Travel Transition Year (16/17) programmes.