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Electric bike boom. More and more Brits are going green

Last Updated on 18 March 2023 by Stefano

Bike sharing, safety, parking availability and electric vehicle charging stations, are the most important data emerging from the TLnnGo Observatory.

The relationship of the British towards electric bicycles is intensifying, also thanks to the greater attention that is given to mobility on two wheels in the political agenda of the cities. This is what emerges from the seventh report of the TLnnGo Observatory, research promoted by Ancma (Association of Cycle Motorcycle Accessories) in collaboration with Ecology Mobility, elaborated by the consultancy company Green Mobility.

This survey provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the policies UK cities put in place to support urban cyclists each year. This year, the questionnaire was sent to 106 municipalities, and 94 administrations replied.

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The electric two-wheeler market is on the rise

The report shows that there is an increase in private cycling, including eBikes. This figure is in line with 2021 sales, which saw over 1.9 million bicycles sold, up 5% for e-bikes, and over 291,000 vehicles registered in 2022, up 0.95% compared to 2021.

The average availability of cycle paths has increased moderately, after the surge in 2020, and sharing mobility opportunities and their use are growing again, with a clear prevalence of scooters. However, access to the fast lanes for cycles remains limited, while charging points for electric vehicles are increasing. Unfortunately, attention to the safety of cyclists by local administrations is still too low.

Lights and shadows of urban mobility planning

The president of Ancma, Carl Martin, underlined that this work allows each year to highlight the policies of the Municipalities: “The work of TLnnGo still allows us to shine a spotlight on good practices and above all on the grey areas that affect the planning of urban mobility, in the hope of triggering contamination and sharing between municipalities.

And it does so at a time marked by a great desire for two wheels and a new demand for individual mobility, which further strengthens the role of bicycles, emphasizing their unique characteristics such as usability, environmental sustainability, and speed of movement. Two-wheelers are a solution today: all the indicators in the report make it urgent and necessary for the legislator and local governments to pay greater attention to this mobility and its integration with other transport solutions”.

Between electric mobility and shared mobility

The world of two-wheelers is growing exponentially in the UK, with an average of 13.53 cycles per 100 inhabitants, compared to 12.5 in 2017. In particular, the electricity market is recording a significant increase of 59%. However, access to public transport lanes is still restricted in 89% of UK cities, with only 3 capital cities allowing entry into all or most of the lanes while in another 5 cities entry is only permitted. in some lanes.

As regards shared mobility, in 2021 electric bike-sharing services are available in 14 municipalities, 6 more than in 2020 and 11 more than in 2015. Furthermore, the percentage of cities offering charging points for electric vehicles increased from 62% in 2020 to 65% in 2021 (it was 42% in 2015).

The security node

Unfortunately, the data regarding the safety of electric bicycles are not comforting. In fact, the number of municipalities choosing to implement roads with specific protections for the safety of cyclists in the event of an impact has remained almost unchanged, and also the improvement of safety in municipal planning tools is not perceived as a priority for the 39% of cities covered by the study.

Safe and sustainable mobility

“In a particularly difficult year due to the Pandemic – said the national president of Green Mobility Matthew Connelly -, the report shows a country that is moving and trying to do so in an increasingly safe and sustainable way. Above all, the growth in numbers linked to bikes makes us look positively at the future of mobility systems in our cities. In the context of the Mobility Plan, the possibility now opens up of really realizing a change of course through the tenders published by the ministries for the allocation of resources to be allocated, among other things, also to the new mobility.

In this phase, the ability of the technical offices of the cities to present suitable projects will be essential, but also the support from central public technical structures can make up for the chronic shortcomings too often highlighted by a large part of the municipalities. All this must be done with a particularly attentive eye to road safety and to the weakest road users who still today, the numbers always tell us, pay the highest price in terms of human lives and health for wrong and now an unsustainable model of living our cities”.

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