A new bike dock scheme has been launched on Sunderland’s riverside route.
It is promoted by Sunderland City Council’s ‘Go Smarter’ scheme in partnership with Public Health, and is being run by Sunderland Community Action Group (SCAG) from a site next to the National Glass Centre at St Peter’s.
St Peter’s Cycle and Sport Hub also provides a focal point for other leisure, recreational and physical activities.
The dock is on the Sunderland stretch of the national Coast to Coast (C2C) cycling route from Cumbria through to Roker.
SCAG project manager Richard Duggan said: "We understand that high costs can sometimes be a barrier to people getting involved in leisure and sport, so we’ve reduced our hire prices for the bikes and activities so all the local community can take part.
"This is a great opportunity for everyone to get fit and active without breaking the bank, and we offer a range of activities that are suitable for all age groups and abilities.
"We are based along the riverside next to National Glass Centre taking advantage of the fantastic river views and surrounding cycling path tails.
“We are also actively seeking volunteers who will have the opportunity to work alongside fully trained members of staff to gain experience and build self-confidence."
As well as standard multi-use hybrid bikes for hire, tandem bikes and child trailers are also available.
Councillor Barry Curran said: "We hope this new community cycling facility will encourage even more people to get on a bike, to exercise and to enjoy the many cycling routes we have across our city.
"Buying or hiring a bike can be expensive, so we hope this new community service will make them more affordable and available for people who’d like to hire or loan one.
"Volunteers and staff will also be on hand to offer help and advice to anyone taking to the road on two wheels for perhaps the first time in a long time, and also provide a little routine maintenance for people’s own bikes."
Councillor Julia Jackson added: "Sunderland has long been committed to sustainable transport.
“We’re already part of the Government’s national ‘Go Smarter’ campaign to promote alternative ways of travelling to the car to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
"Over the six years of the national campaign we achieved a lot in Sunderland, working with 80 of the major employers, providing their staff with the encouragement and support needed to consider car sharing, walking, cycling and getting public transport to work.
"That partnership approach is continuing with this new hub."