WITH the chance of saving more than £300 a year on fuel and £700 on parking, it was a simple decision to ditch the car on the daily commute for this Hampshire cyclist.

Phil Player, 50, from Linden Grove, Chandler’s Ford, was paying out more than a thousand pounds a year on petrol to drive the eight mile round trip to Southampton Airport Parkway station and park there at a cost of £11 a day.

He says he’s saved a small fortune by using his electric bike, nicknamed “The Velocipede”, to do the journey over the last 13 months.

He said: “It’s going great – I ride it every day and it gets me to the station more or less in the same time it would have taken me previously.

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“I don’t get held up in traffic and I don't have to leave any earlier – it takes me around about 15 to 20 minutes to cycle to the station.

“It’s quick, cheap to run and I just plug it into the mains every few days.”

The bike, which has a motor with a maximum speed of 15 miles an hour, can travel between 60 and 70 miles on a single charge.

Mr Player says it cost him around £900 from West End-based supplier 2 Wheel Electric, but he’s already made that money back.

He said: “A lot of the environmental ideas like solar power cost a lot of money initially and have got a long payback time – but this doesn’t.”

“With all the savings made so far, I’ve more than covered the initial outlay of the bike, so everything from now on is pure profit.

“The best thing is it’s actually very pleasant to ride.

“I don’t get all hot and sweaty as I would on a normal bicycle and it’s fast.”

Even Mr Player’s partner, who suffers from asthma, has found the electric bike easy to use.

Mr Player added: “She took out the electric bike and we went cycling around town – she was overtaking me on the hills, which is unheard of.

“She normally gets off and walks and I would wait for her at the top.

“They really are good.”