This month has seen Wheels 2 Work South West (W2WSW) celebrating 21 years of supporting our local communities. This is a double celebration, as April also marks one year since W2WSW was relaunched as a registered Charity (no, 1194170), having operated for several years as a Community Interest Company, offering subsidised two-wheel transport to those needing access to employment, education and training.
The last month has also seen W2WSW gain new recognition, welcoming Transport Minister Trudy Harrison MP at a ‘Wheels 2 Work Electric’ roadshow in Falmouth (12 th April). Minister Harrison was keen to road test a selection of eBikes. With other representatives from the Department for Transport, plus the Police and Cornwall Council, she took on local roads and hills, experiencing the fun and excitement that can only come from riding an eBike.
In a wide-ranging meeting with the W2WSW and Cornwall Council team afterwards, the Minister expressed the Government’s full support for the Cornwall eBike project and her positive views on the potential for two-wheeled transport, both eBikes and electric Powered Two Wheelers (PTW), under the decarbonisation agenda.
The original programme started in Tavistock, Devon in 2001 with ten 50cc mopeds. Further development saw Devon W2W being incorporated as a Community Interest Company in 2006 when eight organisations across Devon, all with an interest in accessibility and transport, worked in partnership to bring about a Devon-wide Wheels 2 Work programme. Devon W2W operated from 2006 to 2021 before converting to a charity in 2021 and relaunching as Wheels 2 Work South West – now operating across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset..
Max Jowett, Chief Executive of Wheels 2 Work South West said: “Wheels 2 Work has been a project close to my heart for 21 years now. We have faced many challenges over the years but our core values have always remained the same and we continue to serve our communities more than 12,000 people later.
“Moving to charitable status a year ago has also helped us to look at new opportunities for bringing W2W to more people and communities.
“It was great that Ms Harrison recognises what W2W is achieving and was able to witness W2WSW in action at ground level. It was clear that she had a great time riding the eBikes and in our discussion she was very positive about the future for Wheels 2 Work and the contribution it can make to the future of personal transport.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about W2WSW can contact [email protected] or visit https://www.wheels2worksouthwest.org/ebikesapply/ or call the office on 07970 480807