Would-be cyclists have just days left to apply for the first stage of a FREE bike giveaway in Birmingham.
Hundreds of people across the city have already put their names into the hat for the Big Birmingham Bikes giveaway, with the first cycles set to hit the streets shortly.
Part of Birmingham City Council’s £24.3 million Birmingham Cycle Revolution, Big Birmingham Bikes is a ground-breaking initiative aiming to encourage people of all backgrounds to get cycling regularly.
Last month Raleigh bikes was awarded the contract to provide 5,000 Big Birmingham Bikes that will help encourage more cycling in the city.
3,000 of the new Raleigh bikes will be given away to people who are keen to cycle but unable to afford it. The remaining 2,000 will be used to hire out around the city.
The closing date to apply for the first stage of the giveaway is Saturday 31 January. A second draw will then be made at the end of March.
To qualify for a free bike loan, users will need a valid Birmingham City Council leisure card and have taken and passed the learn-to-ride Bikeability Level 2 and cycle maintenance courses. Bikes will be allocated by a postcode lottery to people who register on the scheme and pass the necessary courses.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City, said: “The response to this scheme has been very encouraging and it’s clear that many people are interested in cycling but struggle to meet the cost of a new bike.
“The giveaway is just one part of our overall work to get more people cycling in Birmingham. We’re putting cycle lanes around canals, improving cycling lanes on major routes around the city. We also have a range of training opportunities.
“Anyone who is eligible for a free bike but who misses out this time will automatically go into the hat for the second giveaway.”
The Big Birmingham Bikes team has identified postcodes where the need for these bikes is greatest and applicants must be able to prove they live in one of the qualifying areas.
The deadline for the first draw is 30 January. To qualify for draw two you must enter by 30 March.
To apply go to: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/bbb
In addition to the giveaway, the Big Birmingham Bikes project aims to encourage more cycling in the city with a range of activities and training opportunities.
- 110 people have applied to be volunteer instructors – the first 12 have already been trained.
- 150 people have volunteered to help with Led Rides, Teaching Cycling, and Voluntary Group formation.
- 54 people have volunteered to be Ride Leaders – the first 18 will be trained next month.
- The increase in volunteers means that by the end of January we will be able to deliver a three-month programme of Led Rides and Cycle Training at no additional cost to the city.
- Volunteers will work with their chosen community and will then be offered the chance of paid work with Birmingham as assistant instructors. They can then train as lead instructors within 12 months.