AN event saw residents, volunteers, organisations and partners come together to celebrate a year of a successful community initiative.

Essex Pedal Power has made cycling more accessible for people living in Clacton and Jaywick Sands, with over 280 bikes currently distributed to eligible residents, and a further 1,000 over the next year.

The £2.7 million pilot scheme is a partnership of Active Essex’s Local Delivery Pilot, Essex County Council, The Active Wellbeing Society, Tendring Council, Community Voluntary Services (CVS) Tendring, Sport England, Cycling UK and community groups in the area.

Lee Scott, Essex County councillor responsible for highways maintenance and sustainable transport, said: “It’s been fantastic to see the Essex Pedal Power community develop over the past year.

“This bike scheme is providing a free method of sustainable active travel, helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing, as well as reducing congestion and pollution for the communities we live in.”

Since launching in June 2021, Essex Pedal Power has already made a positive impact to the lives of those who have received a bike, as well as creating new community cycling groups, a brilliant cohort of volunteers and regular bike training sessions.

Friendships have formed, communities have strengthened, and the project has become so much more than just a free bike scheme.

Offering a form of active travel, recipients have been able to broaden their travel horizons and therefore, able to access education and employment opportunities further afield.

The health and wellbeing of bikers has improved, with many stating they have lost weight, are more physically active and their mental health has been positively impacted, by getting outside and cycling on a regular basis.

Diana Hogben, Essex Pedal Power bike owner, added: “Essex Pedal Power has opened up opportunities for me beyond cycling.

“I have always struggled with my weight but since having the bike I have become more active and healthier, and wanted to help others like me.

“I now run a free community weight support group as well as wellbeing walks and led rides.”

To find out more about Essex Pedal Power visit