GO e-Bike is a regional e-bike share programme with a growing number of locations across the South East of Scotland.
Launched in April 2017 with the aim of increasing usage and awareness of power-assisted cycling across the region and beyond, the programme supports community outreach charities, sustainability organisations, tourism and hospitality outlets, healthcare practitioners, and academic institutions. The programme also incorporates a public hire scheme at four sites in East Lothian and Midlothian.
Go e-Bike improves access to and promotes the use of e-bikes across the SEStran region. The project involves the set-up of e-bike hubs, developed with a mix of Local Authorities, community organisations, charities and academic institutions. E-Bikes and support infrastructure are provided based on an assessment of the requirements of the proposed hub in partnership with local stakeholders. Each hub is unique and tailored to its community to support long term sustainability.
Phase 1 – Community Hubs
Ongoing support is provided for each GO e-Bike hub. SEStran also offers cycle training in association with Cycling Scotland. Each hub supports the sustainability of the program by helping to promote GO e-Bike and contributing to ongoing research. By providing access to e-bikes locally, GO e-Bike aims to promote a healthier more active population, reduce inequalities in our communities and improve our environment. GO e-Bike currently has five hubs in operation with a further two in development. Alongside the hubs, an Employer Roadshow scheme ran from May to October 2019, offering short term trials of e-bike fleets to employers to promote active travel.
- West Lothian Bike Library (WLBL) is a not for profit, community interest company (CIC). They help people to get active and connected through cycling and associated activity. They aim to tackle inequalities in health by making cycling an activity for all, regardless of background, income or ability.
- Transition St Andrews – St Andrews University staff pool bikes, 300 staff were provided access to a fleet of twelve Gazelle e-bikes providing an alternative travel mode for staff at the different campus sites including those moving to the new Eden Campus which is 4 miles from the centre of town. The e-bikes are available on either a short or long-term basis, accessed via smart lock and app technology.
- CLEAR Buckhaven in Fife – Community use and local hires. Six e-bikes were available on loan mainly for work (occasionally leisure) activities to the staff and up to 40 volunteers of CLEAR (Community-Led Environmental Action for Regeneration). Active community organisation CLEAR is based in Buckhaven a former mining community on the central Fife coast, part of the Levenmouth conurbation – the largest settlement in Scotland with no rail links.
- Bike Punks Tweeddale Youth Action – Scottish Borders. The Go e-Bike project supported Bike Punks to expand the offer available from their hub in Innerleithen through the provision of ten e-bikes for affordable public hire. Bike Punks were also provided with two e-cargo bikes to develop and explore micro-enterprise opportunities.
- Social Bite Village – Granton Edinburgh. The GO e-Bike scheme aimed to help community members including staff and volunteers be better connected to the surrounding area, the cycle paths and the centre of town. The easy access to the network of cycle paths also makes it easier for those without the road skills or confidence to get around.
- Regional Employer Trial – The employer roadshow offered employers a free trial of smart lock-enabled e-bike fleets for 2-6 weeks. The roadshow offers employers the opportunity to gauge interest in a pool bike scheme as a long-term solution for employers paying for e-bikes as part of their business travel and provides employees with the opportunity to try out e-bikes before making a purchase.
Phase 2 – Docked e-Bikes
The public hire scheme is designed to promote short and long-cycle trips within core communities, where clusters of residents, students, tourist destinations and services can readily be connected in East Lothian and Midlothian.
During March 2021 final construction of the public hire scheme was completed with the installation of four bike charging hire points at Eskbank, Jarnac Court, Musselburgh Train Station, and The Brunton Theatre. The system was launched in April 2021. East Lothian secured funding for two further hire points without charging capability in Musselburgh, which are due to be operational in early summer 2022.
To find out more and start riding, visit: https://goebike.uk/
Equality Impact statement for the project can be found here: EQIA-Go-e-bike
Phase 3 – Supporting Marketing Campaign
The ‘Do The Ride Thing’ behaviour change media campaign, focussed on the sharing of our outdoor spaces with all users, continued throughout 2021. Using a mixed media approach of radio and podcast adverts, social media, online adverts, and public hoardings allowed for targeted contact across the region. The campaign ended with near 11 million views on social media and a reach of just under 2 million social media users. This resulted in the project achieving more than twice the usual rate of ‘clicks’ on campaign adverts.
Project supported by: