Thousands of people across Scotland are set to get pedalling following the relaunch of a scheme offering free bike repairs.
The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme will encourage people to get old bikes out of storage and back in use, as well as keeping well-used bikes pedalling smoothly and safely. The free repairs of up to £50 per person will be of particular help to people who would not otherwise be able to afford to get their bikes fixed up.
Cycling UK is working with bike shops across Scotland to provide 20,000 free repairs and maintenance, funded by the Scottish Government.
Almost 200 bike shops, from Kirkcudbright in the south to Lerwick on Shetland, in the north, are already signed up to the scheme, with many more expected to join in the coming days. To access the scheme, contact your nearest participating bike shop or mechanic and get your repair booked in.
All cycles are welcome in the scheme, including adults and children’s bikes, e-bikes and non-standard cycles such as trikes, tandems, cargo bikes and recumbents. People who use manual wheelchairs are also eligible to access free repairs.
The first phase of the scheme ran between August 2020 to May 2021, when 31,562 repairs were carried out by 332 cycle repair providers across Scotland. 77% of participants used their repaired cycles for journeys previously done by car, showing that with support more people would use a bike for short everyday trips.
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of development for Scotland, said: “This scheme will once more fix the nation’s flat tyres and loose brakes, to get people pedalling again. Finances are tight for many people at the moment, so the scheme is targeted at people who can’t easily afford to get their bikes fixed up.
“Whether it’s popping to the shops or commuting to work, cycling boosts people’s physical health, wellbeing and saves them cash. It’s also a low carbon form of transport, tackling climate change and helping Scotland meet our NetZero ambitions as Glasgow hosts COP26 this week. We want to make sure these benefits are available to as many people as possible.
“The scheme has been a huge success previously – getting thousands of people cycling and supporting hundreds of Scottish businesses – so we’re delighted to bring it back.”
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie added: “We need to reduce car use and make it easier for people to choose walking, wheeling and public transport. The new funding for the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme by Cycling UK is just one way that we’re helping people do that and it is welcome that the scheme has already supported over 31,000 repairs so far.”