On the easternmost corner of Britain, something (other than Brexit) is rousing the sleepy seaside village of Suffolk.
Famed for its beer, chocolate, Ed Sheeran and Bronze Age archaeology left over from Danish invaders, Suffolk is enjoying an altogether different and far less stressful cultural transformation.
From top left: The Sutton Hoo treasure (BBC/UK), E-bike commuters and holidaymakers (Ben Triefus), Ed Sheeran (BBC/UK)
The e-bike has taken hold with such popularity that roads normally dangerous for bicycles have become safe through a critical mass of users transforming traffic culture and behaviour at a local level. On his holiday there, Ben Triefus observed,
‘Lots of people tooting around on e-bikes- even between villages on minor roads where cars usually do an average of 60-100 kmh. They have just changed the road rules to make it simple for cars- it is one full width of your car distance clear of the bike. I have not been close passed once. But I was dropped on a hill by an 80-year-old on an e-bike!’
In Suffolk, cycling is for everyone, not just the young and fit.
‘I took all the photos in about a 5-minute window... Weather to the British just is - They have the coats and boots to cope. Suffolk hills are all short, but the roads are narrow… (many) are single carriageways (with) passing points for oncoming traffic.’
‘Southwold is a holiday destination in summer with about three hire companies doing e-bikes. In the Lowestoft area there are scooters (which) are quite revealing as oldies and all are scooting - less though than bikes.’