The free Key Worker Cycle Loan Scheme from the Isle of Wight Council has reopened once again to help support key workers through lockdown.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage key workers to choose cycling as their preferred mode of travel.
During the last two lockdowns, social workers, hospital staff, teachers, supermarket staff and prison officers were among those to receive free access to a loan bike for a month.
Four e-bikes are now also available as part of the loan scheme.
These will be provided on a first come first served basis. Applicants interested in borrowing an e-bike will need to write a short paragraph in their application form explaining how it will help them to start cycling to work. The strongest applications will receive an e-bike as their loan.
The council is continuing to work in partnership with established Island cycle hire businesses, Wight Cycle Hire and RouteFifty7, to deliver the scheme.
Gerard William Driffield, an outreach support worker at Ryde House, said,
“Having the bike during lockdown meant I didn’t have to use public transport. It meant I could get to work quicker and safer as I didn’t have so much interaction with other people.”
The scheme forms part of the council’s Connect2Work initiative, which promotes sustainable and active travel options to employees and jobseekers. That, in turn, is part of the authority’s Access Fund programme funded by the Department for Transport.
Ward: There’s no better time for key workers to consider cycling
Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said,
“Key workers are essential to keeping the Island running at this challenging time, and this scheme supports those for which cycling can form part of their travel plans.
“With much lower levels of vehicular traffic currently on our roads, there’s no better time for key workers to consider cycling for their essential travel.”
Compton: Large fleet of hire bikes available
Claire Compton, director of RouteFifty7, said,
“We are delighted to continue to partner with the Isle of Wight Council to once again deliver the Key Worker Cycle Scheme.
“We have a large fleet of hire bikes which are normally popular with visitors, but with visitors currently absent from the Island, it makes perfect sense to make them available to local key workers.”
All hire bikes loaned to key workers through the scheme include a helmet, a lock, lights and delivery.
For full details of the scheme, and to apply, please visit the official Website.
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