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Cycles recycled to help Vale residents get on their bike

Residents in Abingdon can now get active and healthy using donated bikes with the new Ride Revolution project.

Ride Revolution is a pilot project, set up by Vale of White Horse District Council, that will take unwanted bikes through donation, scrapyards and recycling centres and get them restored or repaired with the support of students from the Oxfordshire based charity TRAX.

These bikes will then be given to individuals and families on low incomes and those with long term health conditions to help them get active and healthy while also giving them the knowledge and confidence to ride safely and keep their bike in good working order.

Before the pandemic, nearly 50 per cent of children and young people in Oxfordshire did not meet the recommended 60 active minutes a day set out by the government’s Chief Medical Officer. 

One of the aims of this project is to get more young people active and healthy and to encourage their families to join them.

Ride Revolution has been funded through a number of different sources including the government’s UKSPF scheme, developer contributions (CIL) in the Abingdon area and Active Oxfordshire.

The district council has been working in collaboration with several organisations in Oxfordshire on the project. They will help to maintain the bikes and assist those using them. The partner organisations include TRAX, Pedal Power, local cycle clubs, colleges, schools and housing associations

Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Community Health and Wellbeing at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “Similar projects in other parts of Oxfordshire have been a great success. With such a wonderful range of places to cycle in the Vale, we knew it was something we wanted to make available here.

“Cycling is a simple but great way for people young or old to keep healthy but sadly not everyone has access to a bike. This scheme will help keep cars off the roads making them safer and as a result be better for the climate.”

Once the bikes are received by the council, the Ride Revolution project team will work with TRAX, which will train students from local schools to refurbish them. The repaired bikes will be matched with residents referred to the scheme. This can be done through different organisations including a school, Soha or Sovereign Housing, a GP or the councils Move Together and YouMove programmes.

To make sure that those who receive a bike are safe when they are cycling, we are working with Pedal Power in Abingdon to provide bike locks, helmets and other equipment needed.

When a bike is no longer needed, it can be returned and then recycled for use by another resident that has been referred to the Ride Revolution project.

More information about Ride Revolution can be found on the council website.

Residents and organisations wanting to find out more about the referral process can do so via the website or email the Active Communities team at the council. Ride Revolution will be reviewed after a year and if successful Vale of White Horse District Council hopes to be able to roll the project out to other areas in the district.