Eastbourne electric bike company says the council has ‘missed a massive, visible opportunity’

An Eastbourne-based company supplying electric mopeds, motorbikes and e-bikes said the council has missed an opportunity to show a commitment to carbon neutrality.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:12 pm

Greg Jones, owner of Bumblebee Bikes Ltd, said he spoke with the Eastbourne Borough Council last year to discuss the possibility of a ‘Green Travel Hub’ in the town to promote eco-friendly travel alternatives to traditional vehicles.

One of the ideas was an e-bike rental service. Greg said he was made aware that the old ‘Tourist Information Centre’ in Cornfield Road was available to rent.

Greg said, “It would be the perfect central town location for our business so we put forward our ideas.”

Greg Jones with the e-bikes proposed for rental. SUS-210730-094135001

However, he said the ideas have been ‘turned down without any good reason by the council’.

Greg said, “The building would also have become a showroom for our ‘green’ vehicles and it was our intention to have regular events giving other ‘green’ transport companies the chance to display and educate the local community on what is available in this new and ever-changing market, but the council for all their bravado on being carbon neutral by 2030 decided there was no benefit to the local community with this idea.

“I believe Eastbourne Council have missed a massive, visible opportunity to show how serious they are to make our town carbon neutral by 2030 and proved yet again that the government only talks a good fight when it comes to the environment, as actions speak louder than words.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “We invited expressions of interest from prospective businesses and organisations and had an excellent response.

The e-bikes Bumblebee Bikes Ltd were hoping to rent out. SUS-210729-101823001

“This process is continuing and we will confirm a future operator soon.

“The council’s determination to become carbon net zero by 2030 is well known and has been reported widely. We launched a climate change and sustainability strategy last year and evidence of this commitment runs through the delivery of all our services and functions.

“Most recently, we submitted a multi-million bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund that, if successful, will allow us to deliver a number of initiatives to improve the town’s connectivity. This includes the last phase of the town centre improvement works, notably the pedestrianisation of the top end of Terminus Road.

“Earlier this month we were also delighted to welcome a new electric bike hub to the Devonshire Quarter Plaza, where members of the public can now hire an e-bike and explore Eastbourne’s stunning coastline and downland.”