French ‘cash for clunkers’

Under a newly proposed scheme, French citizens will be offered €2,500 (the equivalent of about £2,174) toward the purchase of a new electric bicycle. The goal is to replace old, inefficient gas-powered vehicles with zero-emission electric bicycles and help reduce transportation-based carbon emissions. French lawmakers have approved the measure in a preliminary vote. The thinking is that a better solution to address travel-based carbon emissions is not just to make cars greener, but to also reduce their number. Here’s a link to the article –

e-BIKES have potential for greatest impact in Rural areas

A recent study in May 2020 carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds has found that:

  • Electrically-assisted bicycles (e-BIKES), if used to replace car travel, have the capability to cut car carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in England by up to 50%. (about 30 million tonnes per year)
  • The greatest opportunities are in Rural and sub-urban settings. (City dwellers already have many low-carbon travel options, so the greatest impact would be on encouraging use outside urban areas.)
  • There is scope for e-BIKES to help people who are most affected by rising transport costs.

e-BIKE use has the potential to improve equity.

Rural areas have fewer public transport or alternative transport options to fit their travel needs. Due to distances between rural villages and towns and few safe cycle routes between them, and the often hilly landscapes in rural areas, walking and standard cycling are not always the best modes of transport to replace a high proportion of car travel.

However e-BIKES, compared with conventional cycles, have considerable range and enable cyclists of many different ages and abilities to tackle difficult hills and routes, thereby making e-BIKES a realistic alternative mode of transport for work, shopping, exercise, tourism, etc. to replace a large number of local car journeys in rural environments.

Policy makers need to move beyond the changes they think people would like and instead plan for a transport system which reduces its CO2 emissions as well as providing efficient, accessible mobility for all.

Diagram showing the hierarchy of different modes of travel according to environmental impact

Read the report here.

Here is a link to Cycling Week’s online review of the best electric bikes for 2020.

Best cycling in Devon gets national coverage

It’s no surprise to local cyclists, walkers and people who love to get out and explore Devon and Dartmoor, that this part of the UK makes for great cycling. The Guardian’s article ‘Five of the best scenic bike rides in the West Country‘ by Jack Thurston covers ‘Widecombe Way‘ a cycle route that starts in nearby Bovey Tracey, and ‘The Dart Circular‘ again nearby but this time Totnes, describing the type of ride as “Devon lanes by a majestic river“. Well that can only be the River Dart. Our project team continues to pursue plans for our cycle path so that it connects to the wider network of cycling routes in Devon and one day soon we hope our route will connect up to these two wonderful Devon routes covered in national press! Here’s a link to the article – Five of the best scenic rides in the West Country | Travel | The Guardian

Ashburton – Buckfastleigh – South Brent… Feasibility Study

The project group has managed to raise the money needed to commission SUSTRANS to carry out a feasibility study for a proposed mixed-use path, enabling walkers and cyclists to travel safely between the centres of these three settlements. A key consideration of this route is to enable young people to cycle safely to and from school at South Devon Community College.

We raised £3550 by donations from:
£500    Buckfastleigh Town Council (Mayor’s Fund)
£500    Asbhurton & Buckfastleigh Hospital League of Friends
£2000 Dartmoor National Park Authority
£300    South Hams District Council
£250    South Brent Parish Council

We are very grateful to these donors for supporting this project.

The appraisal has been carried out and the final proposal should be available shortly – watch this space!