— €1 million per year funding pilot to upcycle bicycles for people on low incomes.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said that his department officials are undertaking research on potential schemes, such as grants, to incentivise electric bicycle use.
As reported by IrishCycle.com last year, some of the Green Party’s coalition partners and Department officials opposed Green’s push for bicycle incentives.
In a written parliamentary answer dated last week, Minister Ryan said: “My Department will also continue to undertake research into other additional measures which could be introduced to promote modal shift and encourage uptake of electric bikes across all demographics as part of the annual Budgetary process. Potential schemes such as grants for bikes will be considered as part of this research.”
He said that the National Sustainable Mobility Policy examines the different behavioural change measures and that the Government has already committed to widening of the Bike to Work scheme.
The answer was in response to a question from Green Party TD for Dublin South West, Francis Noel Duffy, who asked if supports are available to senior citizens to assist them in buying electric bikes, and if the Minister will make a statement on the matter.
Minister Ryan also said that the previously announced pilot programme to provide upcycled bicycles for free or at a lower cost to groups including those in direct provision or those outside employment will be reviewed later this year to look at the effectiveness of the project.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “My Department is continuously exploring ways to encourage the uptake of cycling as a mode of transport and it is evident that the popularity of e-bikes is rising.”
Minister Ryan said: “The Programme for Government commits to ‘widening the eligibility of the Bike to Work scheme’. The Deputy will be aware that in Budget 2021, my colleague, the then Minister for Finance, increased the thresholds for the Cycle to Work scheme to enable the purchase of e-bikes and more recently the thresholds were increased again in the most recent Budget to accommodate the purchase of cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes.”
He said that to further advance the Programme for Government commitment, the Department of Transport joined with the Department of Rural and Community Development to introduce a pilot initiative in 2021 for the provision of “high-quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes for those on low incomes and the most marginalised and disadvantaged”.
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“Funding of up approximately €1 million per annum is being provided by my Department over a three-year period through the Community Services Programme, which is managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development,” Minister Ryan said.
He added: “Depending on the organisation involved, upcycled bicycles are made available for free or at a lower cost to various groups including those in direct provision or those outside employment. A review of this pilot will be undertaken later this year with a view to ascertaining the impact of this Initiative.”