The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme has launched today, enabling people to benefit from free bike repair and maintenance work up to a value of £50 in an initiative funded by the Scottish Government and delivered via Cycling UK – and unlike the Fix Your Bike scheme in England, which launched last week, you don’t need to go through the hoops of getting a voucher to benefit from it.
As with the scheme south of the border, it is aimed primarily at getting neglected bikes – as well as manual wheelchairs – out of garages, sheds and gardens and back on the road, with people encouraged to use two wheels for their everyday journeys as lockdown eases.
The initiative sits alongside the Scottish Government’s £30 million Spaces for People emergency infrastructure funding, and there will be 30,000 repairs available across the country, with 100 bike shops already signed up and more expected to join in.
Repairs under the £1.5 million scheme are available on a first come, first served basis.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, 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 commented: “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.”
You can find out more about the scheme on the Cycling UK website.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.