A £25,000 grant has been secured to trial an e-bike scheme in the hilly town of Totnes.

Four new e-bike stations and an extra eight bikes will be introduced to the town to supplement the existing three stations and 18 electric bikes already up and running across Totnes and Dartington.

The trial is expected to start sometime this year and will run for 12 months, with the aim of proving the scheme is viable and worth becoming a permanent service in the town.

The funds were secured by Totnes Town Council, which worked alongside Exeter-based social enterprise, Co Bikes, to apply for the cash through South Hams Council’s Climate Infrastructure Fund.

Totnes Mayor, Cllr Emily Price, said: “E-bike have for many years been discussed as a way to enable residents and visitors to travel around our hilly area in a healthier and more sustainable way.

“We are delighted to be working with Co Bikes to finally enable visitors and residents who cannot afford one of their own to reap the benefits that they bring.”

The bikes will be the same type as those already found in Exeter and at Baltic Wharf and will be available to hire on-demand through the Co Bikes app.

The final details of the scheme are still being worked out and more details will follow. 

Helen Scholes of CoBikes, said they are “really excited” to be trialling an e-bike network in Totnes.

“Because they are electric, our bikes can easily tackle hills and shorten journey times whilst helping people avoid getting tired or sweaty, giving them the confidence to make journeys by bike they may not have previously considered,” Helen added.

“E-bikes also reduce car journeys - in a recent survey, 54 per cent of respondents said they used our bikes to make trips that would have otherwise been done by car.”