Birmingham residents urged to apply for free bike scheme
Applications are being accepted for Birmingham residents who want a free bike as part of a £24m scheme to encourage cycling.
Birmingham City Council has bought 5,000 Raleigh bikes under the Big Birmingham Bikes scheme.
The council wants to give away 3,000 free to people who have completed two courses in bike riding and maintenance.
A further 1,000 will be available to borrow long-term and 1,000 will be available to hire at 20 cycle centres.
The bikes will be GPS tracked and anyone who gets one and does not use it enough could be asked to give it back, a spokesman for the council said.
The move is part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution to create a new cycling network in the city centre over the next 20 years.
The cycling centres will be at:
- Woodgate Valley Visitor Centre
- Edgbaston Reservoir
- National Indoor Arena
- Billesley Common
- Saltley Leisure Centre
- Ward End Park
- Shard End Leisure Centre
- Nechells Leisure Centre
- Aston Villa FC and Aston Park
- Sheldon Country Park
- Small Heath Park
- Holders Lane Park
- Calthorpe Park
- Northfield Eco Centre
- Kings Norton Park
- Ley hill Park
- Hamstead Park
- Handsworth Park and Leisure Centre
- Perry Park/Alex Stadium
Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City at Birmingham City Council said: "The bikes are a significant investment for the Birmingham Cycle Revolution project and will help shape the future of cycling in the city.
"The bikes and hire schemes will enable people who cannot afford a bike and who want to cycle a chance of having one, opening up the form of transport to more people across Birmingham."
Bikes will be allocated by a postcode lottery to people who register on the scheme and pass the courses, which begin on 12 January.
In August, a bicycle rental scheme open to Birmingham commuters, residents and visitors was launched in the city centre.
The £140,000 project was set up by Centro, the city council and train operator London Midland.
Anyone who wants to apply for a free bike under the latest initiative should visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bbb.