Halfords has announced a new bike recycling scheme, that will see unused bicycles given to schools in disadvantaged areas of the country.
The initiative was announced at today's Cycling Summit held in Bristol in which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced how the government is to invest £214m into UK cycling.
Unwanted bikes and helmets can be handed in at Halfords' regular national trade-in events. The handed-in items will then be reconditioned by offenders at Onley prison, who as part of a rehabilitation programme will gain mechanical skills to help improve their future employment opportunities.
Around 500 bikes and helmets are to be donated in an initial batch during the first year, with schools in the eight cycling cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich set to benefit.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the new initiative today, as well as a new pilot scheme to enhance the Bikeability cycle training programme that will provide extra training to schools and parents. He said: “The Tour de France in Yorkshire and the 2012 Olympics were such great adverts for British cycling, capturing the nation’s imagination and inspiring a new generation of cyclists. I’m committed to making that a lasting legacy.
"I have pushed to make cycling safer and more accessible. So I’m delighted that this scheme by Halfords is giving children, irrespective of their backgrounds, the chance to get on their bikes and help Britain become a leading cycling nation.”
Halfords' CEO Matt Davies said: “We know there are thousands of children across the UK who unfortunately don’t have access to a bike. By reconditioning and donating these bikes to schools across the country, we are helping hundreds more children to develop confidence, independence and a life-long love of cycling.”
Halfords already runs a free Kids' Holiday Bike Workshop at its stores which helps teach basic bike maintenance and safety skills. So far the company has helped 48,000 children via the scheme, while they have also donated 10,000 bikes to the charity Re-Cycle to be sent to Africa.