A CYCLING project has helped to establish the first eBike sharing scheme in Inverclyde.

Community Tracks Inverclyde held an official launch of the new scheme, which offers Cloch Housing Association tenants the opportunity to try out eBikes to travel around Inverclyde free of charge.

Ebikes are the latest in technology and assist people who are less able to ride a traditional bike.

The pilot is a joint initiative between Inverclyde Community Development Trust and the housing association.

It aims to encourage people to use greener ways of getting around.

Paul McVey, director of Cloch Housing, said: “We are excited to be part of this innovative project to encourage our customers to have a healthy and active lifestyle.

"This project lets people try out electric bikes and will hopefully open the door to further cycling adventures.

"Our staff are also keen to give the eBikes a go and seven of our staff have volunteered to be part of the project, helping to book the bikes in and out and go on active bike rides with customers.

"We are hoping for a good summer and a full programme of cycling events in 2019.”

Kieran Wild, active travel officer with the development trust, says qualified instructors from Cloch's offices in Bogle Street will take tenants down to the Esplanade for bike rides and if this proves popular the scheme will be opened out to other members of the community.

Allan Johnstone, chief executive officer of the trust, said: "Offering the use of bikes to the community fits very well with the wider goals of the trust."

Funding has been provided the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership with Nesta, ShareLab Scotland.

Their programme manager Kyle Usher said: "We are delighted to fund Inverclyde Community Development Trust's easy to use eBike sharing platform, as one of our cohort of collaborative economy projects.

"Their platform and partnership with Cloch Housing Association will serve as an excellent test-bed for a sharing-economy business model that could be scaled or replicated elsewhere."