Essex Pedal Power Colchester will provide over 700 FREE high-quality bikes to residents living in eligible postcodes within Greenstead. Everyone who receives a bike will also be provided with a helmet, lock, pump and lights, and can access free learn-to-ride and cycle confidence training sessions with qualified instructors. The Essex Pedal Power team will also support recipients to maintain their bike.

The scheme aims to provide a low-cost and sustainable mode of travel, helping Greenstead residents to access employment, education opportunities and key local services. This is an inclusive scheme and where possible, we will help those with differing needs with access to cycling opportunities on specially adapted bikes.

The Essex Pedal Power team will work with the community to create new cycling groups, providing more opportunities to cycle and help people develop social connections through cycling.

Essex Pedal Power in Colchester, is a partnership of the Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot, Essex County Council, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Colchester City Council, Colchester Borough Homes, Sport England, Cycling UK, London Marathon Foundation (LMF) and We Are Colchester.


How to apply

We’re overjoyed that you would like to apply for a free bike and join the Essex Pedal Power Colchester family. The project will initially loan a high-quality bike free of charge to eligible residents in Greenstead for a period of 6 months. If the bike has been used regularly during this time, the recipient will have the option to keep the bike at the end of the loan.

Before you complete your application form, please use our Postcode Eligibility Checker to see if you’re likely eligible to receive a free bike.

(Please see the map below for priority areas)

Postcode Checker
Priority Areas Map

We have a limited number of bikes available so they will be released in phases. If you are unsuccessful in the first few phases, your application will automatically be carried over into the next round.

In the meantime, there is still lots to get involved with, including free cycle training and led social rides where we can lend you a bike to take part.

There are lots of opportunities to become a volunteer with Essex Pedal Power and make a positive difference within the Greenstead community; by building bikes, supporting training and led rides, or helping to build local community cycling clubs. Please get in touch with a member of the Essex Pedal Power team by email, and keep an eye on Active Essex’s social media or our Facebook Community Group here for future details on how to get involved.

Apply here


What is Essex Pedal Power?

Essex Pedal Power is a community-based bike project, which allows eligible residents in Greenstead, Colchester to apply for a high-quality bike free of charge. The scheme is being rolled out across Essex after a successful pilot programme in Clacton and Jaywick, and will provide a low cost, sustainable travel mode for residents to access to key communities within Colchester, increasing access to employment and higher and further education opportunities, via access to the train station and key local services in nearby locations. It will launch in Colchester in May 2023, with plans to distribute over 700 free bikes throughout 2023-2025. This project will have a significant impact on the activity levels of local people, improving participants’ health and wellbeing. Only 3% of people cycle regularly in Essex, although it is a popular form of travel and leisure.

How is the project being funded?

To enable Essex Pedal Power to successfully expand into Greenstead, Colchester funding was initially secured from the Colchester Towns Fund with activation funding then secured from the Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot and NHS Suffolk & North East Essex Integrated Care Board (SNEE ICB).

How do I apply for an Essex Pedal Power bike?

Click the ‘Apply Now’ button above to be directed to the online application form.

Please contact us via if you require additional support with the electronic application process.

How do we use your data?

Data Protection Act 2018

The information you provide is confidential and subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018. This personal data will be held and processed by Active Essex (Sport and Physical Activity Partnership) and The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) (Reg. number 7595) for the purpose(s) of providing and monitoring the effectiveness of Essex Pedal Power (EPP) and comply with any statutory duty in relation with public health placed on the local authorities, including service communication purposes. The data will also be shared with Essex Highways for transport monitoring. The personal details you provide may also be shared with third parties for the purposes of undertaking research, for the provision of appropriate services, as part of any statutory duties requiring such disclosure and to protect the public funds the Council collects and administers on the basis that they treat the information as confidential. Any data may be used to prevent fraud or the misuse of resources. For further information of our privacy notice, please visit: You can also contact us if you have additional questions.

Will my bike be fitted with a GPS tracker?

Essex Pedal Power Colchester adult bikes will be fitted with a GPS tracking system. Applicants must agree to GPS monitoring. This will enable the Essex Pedal Power team to monitor how the bike is being used, for data collection and evaluation purposes.

How do I know if I am eligible for an Essex Pedal Power bike?

Use the ‘Postcode Eligibility Checker’ link above to check your eligibility.

Essex Pedal Power (EPP) have discretion on who receives a bike and when they receive it. Primarily, only permanent residents of Greenstead, living in an eligible postcode, will be considered. The applicant’s need for the bike and its intended use will also be taken into account. Priority may be given to the reason for applying for a bike (eg. Cycling to work, referred to EPP by a locally trusted organisation). All applicants must commit to cycling regularly – approximately once a week.

Applicants must agree to be contacted by Essex Pedal Power with project information, exclusive offers, updates and other relevant information.

Applicants must agree to complete surveys relevant to the Essex Pedal Power programme for data collection and evaluation purposes.

Adult bikes criteria for application process

Applicants for adult bikes should be 16 years or over.

Successful applicants will have to sign an agreement to loan the bike for an initial period of 6 months. At the end of the loan period, if the recipient has used the bike to cycle regularly, they will be given the option to take ownership of the bike (subject to being satisfied with the terms and conditions).

Adult bikes will be fitted with a GPS tracker and applicants must agree to have a GPS tracker fitted to their bike, for data collection and evaluation purposes.

Bikes should be returned to Essex Pedal Power if they are no longer needed.

‘Learn to Ride’ and ‘Cycling with Confidence’ training sessions, will be offered to all adult bike recipients. Those unable to ride safely or lacking in confidence, should be willing to attend cycle training to improve their cycling skills and ability.


Childrens bikes criteria for application process

Childrens bikes will be loaned for as long as the bike is needed and fits the child. The bikes should then be returned to EPP (as per the agreement) where, subject to availability, the ‘next size up’ bike will be offered.

If the child is in school year 5 or 6, they will be encouraged to participate in Bikeability training Level 1 and 2, through their school.

We hope to signpost ineligible applicants (adults and children) to upcoming local bike recycle schemes, if bikes aren’t available through EPP.

If I'm not eligible for a bike, can I still get involved?

Absolutely! We hope many Colchester residents will be involved in the Essex Pedal Power community – whether through joining a group social bike ride, attending a cycle training session or volunteering with us. You can stay up to date with news and community events by joining our EPP Colchester Community Facebook group here.

If you are not eligible for a bike, but want to learn more about how to be involved with Essex Pedal Power Colchester, email us at

Are there any volunteering opportunities with Essex Pedal Power Colchester?

We are looking for volunteers to help with the local delivery of the project. Volunteer roles include building and maintaining bikes, helping at bike giveaway events and supporting community cycling groups. Please email us at if you are interested in volunteering.

I don’t know how to ride a bike, or haven't ridden a bike for a long time, is training available?

Yes, you do not need to know how to ride a bike to be involved in Essex Pedal Power. We are working with the Essex County Council Cycle Training team to provide free training to those who do not know how to ride a bike or would like to improve their confidence. You can sign up for ‘Learn to Ride’ or ‘Cycle Confidence’ training when you apply for an Essex Pedal Power bike.

What if I need support to look after my bike?

We recognise that there are a range of barriers to cycling that go beyond simply having access to a bike. The Essex Pedal Power team will support you to maintain your bike and teach basic bike maintenance skills so you can keep your bike in tip top condition.

If I receive a bike through Essex Pedal Power, what sort of bike will I receive?

The Essex Pedal Power bikes are high-quality, lightweight hybrid bikes supplied by Raleigh. The adult bikes come in our signature orange colour and some of the children’s bikes may come in other colours depending on stock. All bikes are suitable for roads and cycle paths and we have a range of sizes and styles to suit different needs. We are also working to explore e-bikes, cargo bikes and adapted cycles as future elements of the programme.

If I receive a bike, will I need to buy anything else?

People who receive a bike will also receive a helmet, a gold standard D-lock and a hand pump. Each bike will come with reflectors, bike lights and mud guards.

If my application is successful, how long can I keep the bike for?

An adult bike is initially loaned to participants for 6 months. Providing the bike is used regularly (roughly once a week), at the end of the loan period the recipient will be given the option to keep the bike and equipment free of charge (subject to being satisfied with the terms and conditions). Bikes for children are loaned for as long as needed/the bike fits the child. Typically children grow out of a bike within 14 months. Once the bike no longer fits the child, it is to be returned to Essex Pedal Power Colchester and where possible, the next size up bike will then be offered on loan for as long as needed/the bike fits the child.

Are there any hidden costs that I will need to pay for?

Not at all. Essex Pedal Power will cover the cost of the bike, helmet, lock, hand pump, standard reflective lights and mud guards. Bike Training and Bike Maintenance sessions will also be free of charge.

Is this scheme open to people living outside of Greenstead?

This is a new partnership scheme, which will initially be piloted within the priority area of Greenstead. This area has been selected for a number of reasons including low levels of physical activity and limited sustainable travel options. The aspiration is that Essex Pedal Power will be rolled out to other areas of Essex if successful.

I work in Greenstead but live outside of the area. Am I still able to apply for a bike?

The scheme is currently only open to those people who live in the eligible postcode areas within Greenstead.

How can I keep my bike safe?

Bikes will be monitored by GPS tracking, which will provide a rich picture of data in terms of participants, distance, frequency, and locations being cycled to, which will help inform future strategies within the council. All participants will be issued with helmets and bike locks and additional local community bike storage solutions will be incorporated within the programme as the scheme progresses.

What if I do not have somewhere to secure and shelter my bike?

If you do not have a secure and sheltered space to store your bike, we will try to help you find a suitable and convenient storage location. Do not let this stop you from applying for an Essex Pedal Power bike.

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