Travel choices team has won the Excellence in Cycling category at the 2018 Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards Left to right Charlotte Secker (Central Bedfordshire Council), Carol Thomas (Luton Borough Council), Nazia Mahboob (Luton Borough Council), Joanne Moore (Central Bedfordshire Council), Funmi Atolagbe (Bedford Borough Council). Image: Central Bedfordshire Council

Recycling bike scheme wins a national award

Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) travel choices team has won the “Excellence in Cycling” category at the 2018 Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards. The award was for its part in a joint project, which provides low-cost bikes to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a new one.

The project collects bikes from recycling centres, via public donations and from the police. The bikes are then serviced and returned to a road-worthy condition.

Children’s bikes are donated once children have completed their Bikeability cycle safety training at school. Money from the cycle sales is reinvested to cover running costs.

CBC executive member for community services, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, said:

“This is a great scheme which makes the most of unwanted items to help others who are less fortunate. These bikes enable the recipients to have free access to a fun, healthy and non-polluting mode of transport.”

The scheme is run in partnership with Luton Borough Council and Bedford Borough Council. So far, more than 300 bikes have been restored and given to thankful local residents since the scheme was launched in April 2017.

Cllr Dalgarno said:

“Many of those who have obtained a bike through this scheme have gone on to access training, volunteering and paid work.

“They have also improved their fitness levels, mental health and enjoyed being outdoors, as well as having access to free sustainable transport.

“Participants in the scheme have reported that their self-esteem, motivation and overall lifestyle has now improved as a result.”

A list of all the bikes available is accessible at the Travel Choices Hub in Ashton Square, Dunstable.

Residents can donate a bike to the project by emailing: travelchoices@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk