Edinburgh’s The Bike Station has been awarded a £750,000 grant by the Scottish Government to promote cycling in the capital.
As one of Scotland’s largest cycling organisations and one of the UK’s largest cycling social enterprises, The Bike Station has been quick to allocate the grant for the promotion of cycling to a number of campaigns over the course of the next 15 months. Several project partners, including the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op, have come on board to help raise the number of cyclists using Edinburgh’s roads.
Eight full-time staff have been taken on, whose job it will be to do face-to-face work with prospective cyclists, talking to them about their travel and then trying to guide them to more sustainable choices. These staff will also be able to hand out free bus passes and discounted membership of the City Car Club. Free loans of Brompton bikes, electric bikes and other bikes, as well as cycle training, will also be available.
Bike Station’s Mark Sydenham said: “Obviously, the main aim is to increase cycling, but there is a large element of public transport and walking work, as well for those who really don’t want to, or can’t cycle. The overall aim is to create 2,500 new cyclists in Edinburgh.”
Despite the funding boost, The Bike Station has made strong progress this year, collecting over 6,000 bicycle donations for refurbishment, compared to around 4,000 last year. The business has also managed to refurbish 38 per cent more bikes this year, placing over 2,500 bikes in the hands of people who, as
Sydenham puts it: “would not otherwise buy a bicycle.”
Sydenham also broke more big news to BikeBiz, stating: “Next year, as well as this project, we have secured funding to open a new Bike Station in Perth – our first expansion outside of Edinburgh. We are also set to become accredited for City and Guilds in bike maintenance – the first in Scotland and the fourth in the UK.”