A local family fun day event held at Parkeston on 11th June 2023, saw community cycle initiative; Essex Pedal Power, distribute the first 21 free bikes to eligible residents in Harwich and Dovercourt.
Following a successful pilot in Clacton and Jaywick, Essex Pedal Power has now become a county-wide programme expanding also into Basildon and Colchester, and will distribute over 600 children and adult bikes in Harwich and Dovercourt throughout 2023-2025.
The community-based initiative aims to make cycling more accessible in local communities as well as increase physical activity levels, encourage active travel and provide access to employment, education and training opportunities further afield.
In addition, Essex Pedal Power provides a wrap around support of free Bikeability training, including learn to ride, bike maintenance and gaining confidence on the road sessions. Bikes are provided as part of a six-month loan, with recipients able to keep the bike for free if they use it regularly over the loan period.
Essex Pedal Power in Harwich and Dovercourt is a partnership of the Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot, Sport England, Essex County Council, NHS Suffolk and North Essex, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Tendring District Council, the London Marathon Foundation (LMF) and CVS Tendring.
Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport said; “It’s brilliant that we have been able to expand Essex Pedal Power into other areas in Essex, following the success we’ve had in Clacton and Jaywick. Essex Pedal Power is providing a free method of sustainable active travel, helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing, as well as reducing congestion and pollution to create Safer Greener Healthier communities, and I have no doubt it will thrive in Harwich and Dovercourt.”
Cllr Gina Placey, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Partnerships, said; “Essex Pedal Power is going from strength to strength, and I am pleased to see how well this latest giveaway has gone both encouraging children to get on their bikes and helping people to get more active. It also improves their health and helps them access work opportunities too. We’re delighted, therefore, to continue supporting this initiative.”
Carina Nea, Essex Pedal Power Harwich and Dovercourt Coordinator said; “Essex Pedal Power is more than just a free bike. It’s building those community connections and providing residents with opportunities, a sense of belonging and a new lease of life. The first bike was received and built by one of our eligible volunteers, with the support from a qualified mechanic. He hadn’t ridden for a few years and was excited to receive his bike for travel purposes, as well as enjoy time getting active with his family.”
Find out more about the Essex Pedal Power Harwich & Dovercourt programme here.