Emergency initiative to get thousands more back on their bikes
The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme has opened to the public. It is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered through Cycling UK and participating retailers to provide free bike repair and maintenance work up to a value of £50.
This will encourage old bikes out of storage and back onto our roads, as well as keeping well-used bikes pedalling smoothly and safely thanks to the skills and services of bike mechanics right across Scotland. Inclusivity and accessibility are at the heart of the scheme. All cycles are welcome including adult and child bikes, tandems, trikes, handcycles, non-standard and adapted bikes. People who use manual wheelchairs are also eligible to access free repairs.
This is part of the Scottish Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, which includes the £30 million Spaces for People temporary infrastructure initiative and other behavioural change programmes. The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme will help maintain the positive increase in the numbers of people we have seen cycling across the country while helping to manage demand on public transport. A total of 30,000 repairs are available across Scotland, providing more people with access to greener and healthier travel options as we continue to move through the Scottish Government Routemap to Recovery. Almost 100 bikes shops – from Shetland to Dumfries – are already signed up to the scheme, with many more expected to join in the coming days.
Primarily, the scheme is aimed at people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford these repairs. No voucher or registration is required – just contact a local participating bike shop. By doing so, the public will help provide a guaranteed source of income for these shops while at the same time benefitting from free professional repairs. Repairs of up to £50 per person are available on a first come basis until the £1.5 million fund has been exhausted.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme is a critical part of our COVID-19 response and a key element in our wider green recovery. This step will help encourage older bikes back onto our roads and onto the new temporary infrastructure that local authorities have delivered through the Spaces for People initiative.
“At the same time, this will keep the many people who have rediscovered cycling during the lockdown period on their bikes through the winter. I’m pleased to see the increases in cycling and I’m confident active travel will play a big part in helping to manage demand on our public transport network.
“By choosing to walk, wheel or cycle – you are leaving space on public transport for those that need it most. At the same time, active travel improves our air quality, protects our climate and brings profound benefits to our physical and mental health. Through this and future initiatives we will continue to support people in making greener travel choices as we work to build an Active Nation.”
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s Head of Development for Scotland said:
“This scheme will help to fix flat tyres, loose brakes and clunky gears to get people across Scotland on their bikes. We know that the coronavirus crisis has hit many people hard, so if you’d struggle to afford the repairs you need right now, this scheme has got you covered.
“Encouraging people to cycle – whether that’s to get to work, pop to the shops or enjoy our beautiful countryside – helps their health, wellbeing and their pockets. We’ve had a great response from Scotland’s fantastic and friendly bike shops, so we’d encourage anyone who needs that extra bit of help to get involved and get cycling.”
Local MSP Sandra White said:
“I welcome this provision from the Scottish Government to help people repair their bikes and benefit from active and social distanced travel.”
“The inclusion of manual wheelchairs and a broad definition of cycle eligiblity for the scheme is also an important and welcomed development that will hopefully see the scheme reach even further.“
Visit the Cycling UK website to learn more about the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, read additional guidance and locate a participating bike store: http://www.cyclinguk.org/ScotCycleRepair
Visit the Transport Scotland website to learn more about how we are working to build an Active Nation: http://www.transport.gov.scot/activenation
For travel guidance during the COVID-19 crisis, including information on walking, wheeling and cycling visit http://www.transport.gov.scot/travel-guidance-during-covid-19