Why hundreds of free bikes are being given away in Birmingham

BirminghamWorld visited the latest Big Birmingham Bikes giveaway

Birmingham City Council’s initiative Big Birmingham Bikes aims to increase health and mobility by providing bikes to those unable to access them.

Between January and March of this year, 380 adult and 120 children’s bikes are set to be provided to people across the city. We went along to one of these giveaways over in Small Heath, where 20 Birmingham residents who were selected will be collecting them.

The Bicycles offered through the initiative will be distributed through the Active Wellbeing Society to people already on their waiting list, as well as those referred through the Bikes on Prescription scheme.

The project aims to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of those who need the bikes most, as well as offer them opportunities to live more empowered, connected lives.

Birmingham City Council is receiving £250,000 funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, through Transport for West Midlands, to fund this scheme.

Big Birmingham Bikes 2

Peter Edwards, Travel Demand Manager for Birmingham City Council says: “So today we’re launching the next round of a scheme called Big Birmingham Bikes. So this is a scheme that we’ve launched several years ago - we’ve already given out 5000/6000+ bikes to the community in Birmingham.

“This is the next round being paid for by the Active Travel Fund from the Department for Transport. So working with the Active Wellbeing Society, our partners, we are delivering 500 bikes to adults and children in the most deprived communities in the city.”

Peter Edwards, Travel Demand Manager for Birmingham City Council

Susan Mellor, Interim Head of Cycling for the Active Wellbeing Society says: “So the people here today are coming to collect a bike that they have booked in with us. So the biggest barrier to cycling is people being able to afford the bike in the first place.

“We’re delighted to be able to be giving bikes away today to people who are already on a waiting list with Big Birmingham Bikess or have been directed into us through GP surgeries and medical centres in order to improve their health and well being.”

Susan Mellor, Interim Head of Cycling for the Active Wellbeing Society

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