Buckland Low Carbon Network

The aim of the Buckland Low Carbon Network is provide a forum for to exchange ideas and experience amongst Buckland residents of practical ways of reducing our carbon emissions – hopefully to help inspire us all on practical and affordable steps we may consider.

The network was launched at the start of 2021 and during its launch year hosted a series of virtual meetings. To read reports of the four meetings held in 2021 visit the Low Carbon Network archive.

We launching our 2022 programme of meetings with a meeting focusing on electric bikes.

Electric Bikes – 15th February 2022

We heard from several local residents with electric bikes, and who use them for a diverse range of journeys, including commuting to work (locally), visiting local friends, getting to Dorking or Reigate station, leisure trips to the pub, small shopping trips, and even transporting around young children/grandchildren. They noted also benefits compared to riding a normal bike, including a much easier cycle (especially for those of us with dodgy knees or hips), and not arriving at your destination sweaty and needing to change.

We discussed alternatives to the A25 for cycling into Dorking and Reigate, and the limitations of local cycleways, and heard about possible future improvements to make our roads more cycle-friendly. Those interested in cycling were encouraged to participate in the upcoming consultation on local transport options.

We were joined by Ben Swindell from Specialized Bikes, who told us a little more about the wide range of good electric bikes now available for different purposes and at prices ranging from £1000 to £5000, with ranges between 20 and 80 miles between charges. He noted that there are now good local cycle shops with expertise on electric bikes, who can advise on what bike would best suit your needs and budget,  let you “test ride” bikes to see if you like them, and can advise on maintenance.

Based on 3-4 local trips a week by electric bike instead of a car, we heard that an electric bike might do 1500 miles a year, saving around £400 pa in petrol, and result in carbon savings of about 400 kg pa (about 5% of the typical carbon footprint per person in the UK).

If you live in Buckland and are interested in joining our Network please contact me. If you are considering possible next steps and would like to talk to someone in your community about their experience we aim to be able to put you in touch.

Ken Caldwell
Buckland Resident and Network Convenor