The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, funded by the Scottish Government and delivered through Cycling UK and participating retailers, has opened to the public.
The scheme will provide free bike repair and maintenance work up to a value of £50 in order to encourage people to get their bikes out of storage and back onto the roads. All cycles are welcome, including adult and child bikes, tandems, trikes, handcycles, non-standard and adapted bikes. People who use manual wheelchairs are also eligible to access free repairs.
The scheme comes as part of the Scottish Government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, which includes the £30 million Spaces for People temporary infrastructure initiative and other behavioural change programmes. A total of 30,000 repairs are available across Scotland, providing more people with access to greener and healthier travel options.
Almost 100 bike shops have already signed up to the scheme, with more expected to join in the coming days.
“The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme is a critical part of our Covid-19 response and a key element in our wider green recovery,” said Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. “This step will help encourage older bikes back onto our roads and onto the new temporary infrastructure that local authorities have delivered through the Spaces for People initiative.
“At the same time, this will keep the many people who have rediscovered cycling during the lockdown period on their bikes through the winter. I’m pleased to see the increases in cycling and I’m confident active travel will play a big part in helping to manage demand on our public transport network.”
Matheson also spoke of the benefits to air quality, climate protection and physical and mental health which cycling brings, which can be accessed by a greater number of people due to the scheme.
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s Head of Development for Scotland, added: “This scheme will help to fix flat tyres, loose brakes and clunky gears to get people across Scotland on their bikes. We know that the coronavirus crisis has hit many people hard, so if you’d struggle to afford the repairs you need right now, this scheme has got you covered.
“Encouraging people to cycle – whether that’s to get to work, pop to the shops or enjoy our beautiful countryside – helps their health, wellbeing and their pockets. We’ve had a great response from Scotland’s fantastic and friendly bike shops, so we’d encourage anyone who needs that extra bit of help to get involved and get cycling.”
Learn more about Scotland’s Cycle Repair Scheme on Cycling UK’s website.