More than 40 per cent feel unsafe riding an e-bike in the UK

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More than 40 per cent of people surveyed said they felt unsafe while riding an e-bike in the UK, new research from Japanese manufacturer Shimano has found.

The study covered more than 2,100 respondents, many of whom cited a lack of high-quality infrastructure as a key reason they feel unsafe while on an e-bike.

Both shared and private e-bikes are legal to ride in the UK, with operators Lime, HumanForest, Voi, TIER, and Freebike all running hire schemes.

The report also found that 11 per cent are more likely to use an e-bike now than prior to the pandemic, while 37 per cent said they used one in order to reduce the environmental impact of travelling.

The 25 to 34 age group was the most likely to use an e-bike, with 17 per cent responding positively, up from 12 per cent among 35 to 44-year-olds and between 9 and 11 per cent among other age categories.

Reflecting on the findings, Head of PR & Communications at Shimano Europe Ben Hillsdon told Zag Daily that a lack of “high-quality cycling infrastructure” was a key reason that riders feel unsafe.

“There are many motivations for people to cycle but when we consider the population as a whole, the vast majority of people in the UK don’t ride often, let alone use e-bikes, and therefore they need to feel safe and confident to do so,” he said.

“With 41 per cent of people in the UK saying not feeling safe meant they were less likely to use e-bikes now, the data suggests that a lack of traffic-free infrastructure in the UK is a barrier when it comes to the uptake of e-bikes.

“The European average for not feeling safe as a reason for being less likely to use e-bikes was 24 per cent. This was especially low in countries known for their high-quality cycling infrastructure. In countries like the UK, it’s fair to assume that joined up cycling networks and safe cycling provisions could be one of the biggest factors for stimulating e-bike growth.”

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