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E-bike scheme puts NHS heroes in the saddle

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was the special guest at a Black Country hospital as he heard about how staff have been loaning electric bikes during the pandemic.

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Sandwell Council transport boss Jackie Taylor, GP Dr James Gwilt, ebikebrum CEO Chris Coyle, Mayor Andy Street, and Lavinia Hines, from the trust.

Ebikebrum has been providing e-bikes to healthcare workers at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell and Birmingham City hospitals, during the pandemic.

It means they have been able to use them to travel to and from work, but also enjoy the outdoors during their leisure time.

As well as loaning e-bikes to staff, the Erdington-based company will also be trialling one of its new e-cargo vehicles at the trust. A prototype was also available during the Mayor’s visit for him to see.

It’s hoped that apprentices on the trust’s Live and Work scheme – which finds employment and accommodation for the homeless – will help in the production of the cars which will be made in the West Midlands.

Mr Street said: “We know cycling has huge benefits both for people’s mental and physical health, as well as helping to tackle the climate emergency by cutting the number of car journeys.

“It is therefore brilliant to see Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust working with ebikebrum to make bikes available to their staff, and it was great to hear the difference cycling has made to those who have taken it up thanks to the e-bikes.

“For people who want to give cycling a try we have got our West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme available across Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, and the Black Country, with e-bikes being rolled out as part of the scheme later this year. More information is available at”

Lavinia Hines, health and wellbeing lead coach at the trust, is one staff member who has taken advantage of the e-bike scheme.

She said: “Using the bikes has been a really nice change to my usual form of exercise. I’ve been able to really explore the area especially during lockdown.

“I hadn’t been on a bike for quite a few years, but I was soon able to get back into it. The e-bikes are power assisted but they still require you to pedal and so you are burning the calories.

“They also give you that added push if you’re going uphill and this really helps you to carry on.

“I’ve been out and about to different parks and even taken on a few busy main roads, which I would never have done previously. I’ve also cycled to work.

“It’s given me a real sense of freedom.”

She added: “I’d definitely encourage people to rent them out and use them – whether it’s for leisure or for travelling to work.”

Chris Coyle, chief executive of ebikebrum, said: “The response to our free e-bike loans has been amazing and we are receiving so much positive feedback from people who are now enjoying bike rides every day."

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