Posted on 26 July 2013
It is now hoped that York could become the first city in the UK where every child has access to a bike.
The Director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, was today (26 July) at the University of York’s £10 million York Sport Village to launch the project. It will be one of many more to come as part of the legacy of next year’s Grand Départ of Le Tour in Yorkshire.
From today, the bike bank is inviting the public to donate unwanted cycles – these machines will be serviced and made available to the community to borrow free of charge.
The project is a joint venture between the University of York and the City of York Council supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, who led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ to the county in 2014.
The project aims to encourage children to take up cycling in the run up to Yorkshire’s Grand Départ on July 5 and 6 next year.
Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York, said: “The Tour de France coming to Yorkshire is a great opportunity to encourage children to get fit and active by taking up cycling. The new cycle circuit at York Sport Village is already proving popular with club cyclists. Now we want to target the grass roots level by getting more children involved.
“We have a small number of bikes available for immediate hire, but we would appeal to families across the city to make good use of unwanted bikes or bikes that children have outgrown and bring them to the York Sport Village. It’s a scheme that makes great use of an unwanted resource lying unused in many sheds and garages across the city while giving more children access to bikes.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire added: “With projects like this, York could well become the first UK city to offer access to a bike for every child and our vision is that in the near future every child will have access to a bike across Yorkshire. Thanks to our partners, this is a great step towards fulfilling that goal. Today’s launch shows the legacy of Le Tour and how it’s already inspiring communities to get involved.”
City of York Council is leading on the overall Legacy project for Yorkshire’s Grand Départ and more similar projects are set to be launched.
The Tour de France coming to Yorkshire is a great opportunity to encourage children to get fit and active by taking up cycling
Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York
Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council and Regional Legacy Lead, said: “Developing this bike bank is an inspiring contribution to the work we’re doing to secure a lasting and far-reaching legacy across Yorkshire and Humber driven by the Grand Départ coming to Yorkshire. York is rated as the third best cycling city in the country, and when you consider our cycle promotions, Park & Pedal initiative and plans for a cycle hire scheme, we’re encouraging all abilities and ages to saddle up and keep riding for the good of our health, air quality and to free the roads.”
The Bike Bank will be open on Saturdays from 10am to 12 noon for bike donations and collections. Hire bikes must be booked in advance using an online booking form on the York Sport Village website or contacting 01904 325751.
Parents will be asked to confirm their child has completed cycling proficiency or Bikeability training and that their child will wear a helmet when using the hired bike. Children aged five to 12 will be able to borrow bikes for periods of up to three months.
The new one-kilometre cycle circuit at York Sport Village will be available for free use by children on Bike Bank bikes from 12 to 1pm on Saturdays.