Thousands of people across Scotland are set to get on their bikes following the return of a scheme offering free bike repairs.
The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, which offers free repairs of up to £50 per person, aims to encourage people to get old bikes out of storage and back in use, as well as keeping well-used bikes pedalling smoothly and safely.
Cycling UK is working with bike shops across Scotland to provide 30,000 free repairs and maintenance, funded by the Scottish Government. Over 262 bike shops are already signed up to the scheme, with more expected to join in the coming weeks.
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of behaviour development for Scotland, said: “This scheme will once again fix the nation’s flat tyres and loose brakes, to get people on their bikes. Finances are really 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 nipping to the shops or commuting to work, cycling boosts people’s physical health, wellbeing and is great for the environment. As we face a cost-of-living crisis and rising fuel prices, we know that some people are looking to cycling as an affordable alternative to driving, especially for shorter journeys. This scheme will help people to make that change and feel all the benefits that cycling brings.
“We’re proud to once again be working with hundreds of fantastic Scottish bike shops and mechanics – many of which are independent local businesses – to get thousands of people pedalling.”
All cycles are welcome in the scheme, including adult’s 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.
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said: “I’m pleased that Scottish Government funding is again supporting the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme in 2022.
“This high-impact programme is helping people that need it most by offering free bike repairs of up to £50 to people otherwise unable to afford them. With 50,000 free repairs carried out by over 300 bikes shop across Scotland since the scheme launched, we’re making it easier for people to choose cycling.
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“With a commitment to investing record funding of at least 10% of the transport budget on active travel by 2024/25, we will continue to invest in similar transformative programmes to make Scotland an Active Nation, where more people choose to walk, wheel and cycle for shorter everyday journeys.”
The scheme was first launched in August 2020 and has so far provided over 50,000 free repairs carried out by 310 cycle repair providers across Scotland.