Cycling UK has launched a free service enabling people in England to get their bikes checked over and have minor issues fixed – with more complex problems that cannot be fixed on-site being referred onto the Fix Your Bike voucher scheme from the Department for Transport (DfT).
The pop-up service will run until 15 November and so far more than 150 venues and mechanics have signed up – you can find the full list here – with the charity keen to recruit more.
As with the Fix Your Bike scheme, the initiative aims to get neglected bicycles and their owners back on the road through repairing common faults such as deflated tyres or problems with gears or brakes.
According to Cycling UK, which recently launched its Pumped Up campaign, there are more than 16 million unused bikes in the country, mainly languishing unused in garages or sheds.
The charity says that most of those could easily be made rideable again through a quick maintenance and safety check carried out by mechanics at #Dr Bike sessions.
Jenny Box, Cycling UK’s head of behaviour change and development, said: ”Through launching our Pumped Up Portraits photographic project, it is amazing to see the range of backgrounds and diversity of people cycling in the UK.
“All these people really love their bikes and value their time cycling for many different reasons.
“The quieter roads during the first part of the coronavirus lockdown gave us a glimpse of what life might be like if more people used cycling for short, everyday journeys.
“We want many more people to feel inspired to get out on their bikes and taking their old or unused bike along to one of our ‘pop-up’ Dr Bike clinics enables them to get it fixed up for free right there on the spot.”
Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris commented: “We want to help as many people as possible to dust off their old bikes and get pedalling again.
“That’s why it’s great to see Cycling UK’s bike repair workshops back again, supported by government funding.
“Through initiatives like this, and our own ‘Fix your Bike’ voucher scheme, we’ll get more people on their bikes and choosing healthier transport choices.”
The Fix Your Bike scheme, announced in early May, finally opened to people in England in late July, with 50,000 of the planned 500,000 vouchers initially released – although, as we reported earlier this week, a number of participating repairers have encountered problems in reclaiming money for repairs they have carried out.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.