An Isle of Man tour operator has won a legal victory allowing him to bring the world’s most renowned electric bicycles to the island.
Richard Cuthbert, of Union Mills, has worked in tourism for 25 years and is launching a guided tours, rental and sales business using Pedego electric bikes sourced from mainland UK.
He secured a swift resolution from the Department of Infrastructure to allow more powerful bikes on the island, bringing it into line with the rest of Europe. The Road Traffic Act regulations amended the battery limit from 200 to 250 Watts – which is what the Pedego bikes have – and saw the speed limit change from 15 to 15.5 miles per hour.
Richard and his partner Shirley Townsend applied in December last year and secured the amendment on January 21. After months of planning they are ready to launch Pedego Isle of Man as a responsible, sustainable tour operator and bikes sales business, using electric bikes they say offer the greatest range and are “the most trusted on hills”.
“I wasn’t aware the legislation was out of date and the previous motor restriction rules threatened to scupper our exciting plans, so we contacted the Department of Infrastructure and the Minister David Cretney for an inspection and to get this restriction changed quickly, otherwise we couldn’t have gone ahead,” Richard said.
“The Government is always looking for ways to lower the carbon footprint of the island and for new leisure activities that can improve tourism – and electric bikes fit both moulds. They are fairly new to the island and we are delighted that Pedego is helping us to realise our dreams, because they really are something special.”
On a personal level, Richard is saving £1,400 per year on fuel and parking fees and actually gets to work quicker by using his Pedego bike to commute five miles each day from Union Mills to Douglas.
“These bikes look like proper bikes, I saw so many e-bikes that were ugly but Pedego has a great range that is well designed, stylish and smooth to ride, plus they are brilliant fun – it was the whole Pedego package that made me choose them,” Richard added.
“The 250 Watt motor has more power to pull me up the hills and I feel more comfortable and more confident that it can do the job – both for tourists and for people who live on the island.”
Pedego Isle of Man was launched at the Tourism Industry Day in April. The guided tours will start at Douglas Sea Terminal while sales will take place from Richard’s home in Union Mills.
David Cretney was the Minister of the Department of Infrastructure at the time of the application to amend the legislation and is a former Tourism and Leisure Minister.
He said: “Tourism is very important to the Isle of Man and I am particularly pleased to welcome this environmentally friendly new business venture, it is an exciting addition to the many leisure and tourism activities we have on the island.
“Richard and Shirley are responsible operators with many years of experience. I wish them well and I’m confident they will provide a quality service for both residents and visitors.”
Richard Cuthbert added: “One of the greatest pleasures is seeing people ride a Pedego electric bicycle for the first time. The joy and surprise at just how good they are never fails to bring a smile.”
For more information visit www.pedegoisleofman.co.uk