More than 80 of Wigan Borough’s key workers can now benefit from low-cost, high-quality bikes, thanks to the generosity of local residents.
Last month, Inspiring healthy lifestyles, Wigan Council and Gearing Up Cycle Workshop launched the Re-Cycle to Work scheme and called for local people to donate unwanted bikes, which would be reconditioned and sold to key workers at a low cost.
More than 10 bikes, helmets and locks have already been sold, with key workers reaping the benefits of commuting by bike. Inspiring healthy lifestyles officers have also been providing free cycle safety advice to customers.
Richard Smith, Inspiring healthy lifestyles Sports Engagement Officer, said: “Over 1.3million bikes have been sold in the UK during lockdown, people have had to rethink the way they commute, many have found themselves with more time to exercise due to working from home or being placed on furlough. We want to be able to get bikes to those that may otherwise not be able to afford them.
“Not only is cycling a greener and cheaper way to commute, but it also does wonders for your health, lowers stress and is a great way to unwind after a day at work”.
Simon Dale from Gearing Up said: “The support we received after the first call for donations was amazing. It has been great to get the first set of bikes out to key workers and we know it will make such a difference to their lives.
“We want to make sure bikes are accessible to everyone and we still need quality donations so we can get bikes to key workers at a low cost.”
The Recycle to Work project is also in line with Wigan Council’s commitment to encouraging more people to talk and cycle and walk .
In addition to its long-term sustainable travel plan, the local authority is supporting the regional Safe Streets Save Lives campaign, which encourages the ten councils in Greater Manchester to make changes so cyclists and walkers can travel safely and in line with social distancing measures.
Coun Jim Moodie, lead member for leisure at Wigan Council said: “Re-Cycle to Work is a fantastic project that acknowledges the dedication and hard-work of our key workers, while also supporting one of the council’s wider long term initiatives.
“We’re delighted to hear that almost 100 bikes have been donated in the last six weeks and look forward to being able to support even more of the borough’s key workers to choose their bikes over their cars, while also providing them with a relaxing past time.”
Donations are still needed, especially higher quality bikes to ensure a fast turn over and to keep the cost of repairs minimal.
Donated bikes should be in a reasonable condition and can be made at Central Park, WN5 9XL, between 9am – 3pm, Monday to Friday and the Gearing Up workshop, The Brick, 4 Hodson Street, WN3 4EN, between the hours of 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. Collection is also possible on weekdays if booked via email or phone call 01942 488481
The project is running alongside the Safe Streets Save Lives campaign, launched by Andy Burnham and backed by Chris Boardman, which will work to see cycling made safer across Greater Manchester.