Leicester City Council is working with bike shops around the city to offer free bikes to key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Leicester Bike Aid scheme, which is being organised by the council’s Ride Leicester team, will be loaning bikes to people who need transport to keep working locally.
The project has been funded by the council but has also received donations from local bike shops, businesses, the Sustrans walking and cycling charity, and British Cycling. So far, the scheme has provided 15 bikes for key workers, most of which are NHS staff.
There are fifty more bikes that are available, and more can be added to this count depending on demand.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke 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.”
If you are a key worker and you feel like you would benefit from this scheme, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to fill in a registration form. If successful in applying, you’ll be able to pick up your bike from participating cycle-shops a few days later.
It’s also important to note that the bikes are cleaned and sanitised before being handed over, and social distancing is observed during collection.
The project manager for Ride Leicester Andy Salkeld said: “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.”
Visit the link here to find out more about Leicester Bike Aid.
By Sam Ellison