Cycling enthusiasts – Dumbuck Hotel owners Petra McMillan and husband Tommy.
By Lucy Ashton
Liberal Democrat MSP and cycling enthusiast Liam McArthur has today urged the Scottish Government to “take the brakes” off the e-bike loan fund after parliamentary questions revealed that it has supported just 1,764 successful applications since launching in 2018.
The interest-free e-bike loan scheme was introduced by the Scottish Government in June 2018 and has been oversubscribed in each year to date.
Parliamentary questions filed by Mr McArthur also revealed that the average income of successful applicants has been over £27,000 every year.
Commenting on the figures Mr McArthur said: “E-bikes can be transformative, helping people become more active, powering them up hills and decarbonising commuting. Reducing the number of polluting cars on the roads helps the health of people and the health of the planet.
“Unfortunately, one hurdle is the upfront cost, that’s why the Scottish Government has a role to play in encouraging and facilitating their uptake.
“The pandemic has got many more people contemplating taking to two wheels but the loan scheme isn’t yet on a scale to meet the potential demand or bring about the scale of change that’s really possible here.
“The healthy option needs to be open and accessible to all. The Scottish Government should take off the brakes and allow all those who want to take advantage to benefit from this scheme.”