Birmingham City Council has announced that Raleigh bikes has been awarded the contract to provide 5,000 Big Birmingham Bikes that will help encourage more cycling in the city.
Raleigh was selected through a tender process that specified the criteria for an especially sturdy bike, suitable for inner city journeys, and are producing the bikes to match this specification.
The Big Birmingham Bike initiative is part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution project that aims to make cycling an everyday form of transport over the next twenty years.
The 5,000 bikes will start to arrive early next year when the first batch of 1,500 will be delivered in January. A further 1,500 will arrive around mid-February and March with the remaining 2,000 due to be delivered shortly afterwards.
Cllr 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.
“3,000 of the bikes will be given free to people who can demonstrate that they will use and take care of them. 1,000 will be available for long-term hire and a further 1,000 will be held at local Cycle Centres for day hire and short term loans. I hope people will take full advantage of the schemes and help Birmingham become greener, healthier and safer.”
To qualify for a free bike loan, users will need a valid Birmingham City Council leisure card and have taken and passed the learn-to-ride Bikeability Level 2 and cycle maintenance courses. Bikes will be allocated by a postcode lottery to people who register on the scheme and pass the necessary courses.
The Bikeability courses will kick off from Monday 12th January at the local cycle centres across the city and you can register your interest and apply to be considered for a bike online at www.birmingham.gov.uk/bbb.
Phil Woodward, key accounts manager at Raleigh said: “As a long term supporter of the UKâ€™s efforts to get more people cycling, Raleigh is thrilled to be backing Big Birmingham Bikes. As one of the most well-known brands in the UK we feel that we can offer Birmingham residents a high quality cycling experience, along with an exciting package of supporting measures.”
The bikes will play an important part helping to make Birmingham a greener, safer, less congested and healthier place to live.
The initiative is part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution, that has secured Â£17million from the Government as part of a Â£24 million programme to create a new cycling network, initally within 20 minutes cycling time of Birmingham city centre.Â This forms a key component of the cityâ€™s 20 year transport strategy, Birmingham Connected, which was launched in November and will see an unprecedented level of investment in the cityâ€™s transport network starting in 2015.Â
This year improvements have been made to canal towpaths with the help of the Canal and River Trust and a number of off-road routes have been created. Next year work will be carried out to planned road improvements and as the network takes shape, the Council wants more people to start cycling for leisure, work and general travel. The Big Birmingham Bike scheme will open up the opportunity for people who cannot afford a bike but will benefit from this cost-effective form of transport.
Birmingham City Council is looking for volunteers to help with the courses and plan led rides around the 20 city cycle centres that will help new cyclists gain confidence and be proficient. The volunteers will receive special training to become a qualified national cycling instructor. If you would like to get involved please email or contact the project team at email@example.com.Â Â
For details on progress on the various new on- road , canal towpaths and green routes being built as part of the Birmingham Cycle RevolutionÂ please visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr.
For more information about Birmingham Connected please visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/connected
A picture, for media use, from the announcement can be found on the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.
The bikes for short term loans will be based at the Bib Birmingham Bikes Cycling Activity Centres at:
1.Â Woodgate Valley Visitor Centre
2.Â Edgbaston Reservoir
3.Â National Indoor Arena
4.Â Billesley Common
5.Â Saltley Leisure Centre
6.Â Ward End Park
7.Â Shard End Leisure Centre
8.Â Nechells Leisure Centre
9.Â Aston Villa FC and Aston Park
11.Â Sheldon Contry Park
12.Â Small Heath Park
13.Â Holders Lane Park
14.Â Calthorpe Park
15.Â Northfield Eco Centre
16.Â Kings Norton Park
17.Â Ley hill Park
18.Â Hamstead Park
19.Â Handsworth Park and Leisure Centre
20.Â Perry Park/Alex Stadium
For more information, please contact:
Beth Meads or Julia Willoughby – Willoughby Public Relations – Tel:Â 0121 456 3004
Kris Kowalewski – Birmingham City Council – Tel: 0121 303 3621