Around 3,000 new bikes are to be given away to people in the most deprived areas or Birmingham to encourage more cycling in the city, reduce traffic congestion and improve health and wellbeing.
The giveaway is part of Birmingham City Council's Big Birmingham Bikes initiative, which will also see another 2000 bikes made available for all residents to hire at 22 specially kitted out cycle centres. There, a number of bikes will be stationed for community access or given out on long term (six monthly) loans to individuals or groups.
Shipping container specialist S Jones Containers (SJC) is delivering 12 new cycle centres - converted shipping containers - to parks and leisure centres across the city for the initiative. So far ten have been delivered at Ley Hill Park (pictured) Woodgate Valley Visitors Centre, Billesley Tennis Centre, Nechells Leisure Centre, Ackers, Sheldon Country Park, The Khidmat Centre in Small Heath, Calthorpe Park, Firs & Bromford Community Centre and Kingstanding Leisure Centre. The remaining cycle centres will be delivered over the next few weeks to Kings Norton Park and Aston Park.
The internal fit of the cycle centres completed by SJC includes special hooks to keep bikes safe and secure.
Cycling development officer (Big Birmingham Bikes) Ed Wicks said: “We are extremely happy with the cycle centres. They open and close very freely, and the hooks significantly increase the life span of the bikes as they don’t get damaged when they’re taken in and out.
“It’s fantastic to see the first of our cycle centres in operation. Each hub, which will be open seven days a week and will be run by paid instructors with support from volunteers. They’ll offer a programme of activities including cycle training, cycle maintenance and led rides.”
The Big Birmingham Bikes initiative is part of the £60million Birmingham Cycle Revolution project that aims to make cycling an everyday form of transport over the next 20 years.
Andrew Jones, managing director of S Jones Containers, said: “We are delighted to partner Birmingham City Council in this important initiative. It is very rewarding to know people across the city are going to gain so much pleasure from our modified containers.”
Main pic: (l to r) Keith Phillips, physical activity activator at Big Birmingham Bikes; Andrew Jones, managing director, S Jones Containers and Ed Wicks, cycling development officer, Big Birmingham Bikes at Ley Hill Park cycle centre.