Owing to the success of Staveley’s ground-breaking ebike hire scheme, it’s organisers, community group Sustainability and Energy Network in Staveley (SENS) have published a comprehensive manual to inspire and support other communities start their own scheme.
Staveley’s ebike scheme was the first community initiative of its kind in Cumbria. The scheme launched in September 2022 with two ebikes, named Reston and Craggy after local landmarks. Based in Staveley Mill Yard, available on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The Staveley scheme works as a viable, not-for-profit model for villages and rural communities. Ten months after launching their project, SENS are ready to support other communities set up their own schemes And have produced a detailed Community Ebike Manual for community groups considering setting up their own initiative.
The comprehensive manual takes each stage of setting up such an ebike share scheme, outlines the challenges and questions that are likely to arise, explains how the scheme was set up, what worked well, and critically, how the scheme can be financially self-sustaining. The manual includes reference documents and useful tools and templates, all shared to make it as easy as possible for the scheme to be rolled out further.
The scheme in Staveley received a recent publicity boost, being featured on Countryfile (scroll to 51:00). The segment showed how ebikes can be part of the solution to improve rural transport options for a wide range of users and places.
To ensure the scheme can be rolled out to more areas, the tailormade website and booking system have been designed for other communities to ‘piggy-back’, making it much cheaper and simpler to get up and running.
Scheme co-founder Isobel Stoddart said “We really want to share what we’ve learned with other communities to help them set up ebike schemes, so we hope the manual and other resources will do that. The website – https://www.communityebikes.org – has been specifically designed to allow other groups to easily add their own webpage that links to one shared booking system, so we hope that will facilitate more local community schemes across Cumbria and further afield.”
Alistair Kirkbride, the other co-founder of the scheme says, “We are really keen on giving a broad range of local people access to a healthy, fun sustainable local transport option. As well as the huge carbon reduction potential of ebikes in rural areas, this project also aims to understand the other benefits of health & wellbeing, social & economic impacts, especially given the current rises in costs of living. Indeed, a recent cost-of-living report revealed that 57% of those in their twenties see ebikes as a natural car replacement We encourage other communities to take a look at our manual to explore how to get a scheme up and running in their own village.”
Alistair and Isobel are offering a pro-bono initial conversation for anyone interested in working out whether this might be for them, and more in-depth support for Cumbrian communities. For communities outside Cumbria they are happy to discuss what further support can be offered. For more information/inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Staveley Community Ebike Scheme is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and is part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership‘s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037.
To find out more or download the manual, see: https://www.communityebikes.org/staveley/new-scheme/