LEICESTER City Council has teamed up with local bike shops, projects and organisations to offer free bikes to key workers during the coronavirus crisis.
The scheme – called Leicester Bike Aid – is being organised by the council’s Ride Leicester team, and is offering to loan bikes to people who need transport to keep working.
Funded by the council and with donations from local bikes shops, businesses, Sustrans and British Cycling, the scheme has already provided 15 bikes for key workers – mostly from the NHS – since its launch on 3 April.
Fifty more bikes are available, with plans to extend further, if required, to meet demand.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport and environment, said: “We want to do all we can to support the essential work of key workers in the fight against coronavirus. We’ve been able to draw on our well-established cycling team at the council to set up a quick, effective and free bike loan service for people who need to get to work and for whom a bike is the best option at this time.
“As well as making bikes available on indefinite loan, we’re providing essentials such as locks and lights so that people have everything they need to start commuting by bike. We’re also offering a wider service from Leicester Bike Aid, which includes free bike checks for key workers who already cycle. Our experienced riders are also using the city council’s purpose-built cargo bikes to help distribute goods, such as food parcels, across the city.”
Key workers who are interested in the scheme can email firstname.lastname@example.org and then fill in a registration form. Bikes can be picked up from participating cycle shops a few days after you have successfully registered.
The bikes are cleaned and sanitised before being handed over, and social distancing is observed during collection.
Ride Leicester project manager Andy Salkeld added: “We’re really pleased to be supporting key workers with this scheme. Bike projects have been great in donating bikes, local cycle shops are our distribution outlets and we’re using the city council’s Ride Leicester freight bikes to transport everything to where it needs to be – we’re using cycles to move cycles! This is the sort of team working that we all need at a time like this.”
More information about Leicester Bike Aid is available at https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/bike-aid/