Perthshire Advertiser

Bike library wheely great idea for pupils

- MELANIE BONN

A bike library has been set up in Perth so no school pupil need be without a set of wheels.

The Perth and Kinross School Bike Library has been created using revamped bicycles given a new life by school groups and mechanics at the Bike Station Perth.

The initiative from Sustrans means bikes can be given to pupils who do not have access to one.

Having access to a bike has been found to help give a young person confidence, independen­ce and more opportunit­ies.

Alice Arnott is I Bike officer with the charity Sustrans. She told the PA: “I think getting more kids on bikes is important for many reasons, number one is it’s fun.

“I Bike is run in partnershi­p with Perth and Kinross Council and aims to create a culture of walking, cycling, wheeling and scooting in schools, promoting a safer, happier and healthier school community.

“During this year, with everything that has gone on, the popularity of cycling has really boomed. Many families have noticed how important being active is for their health, fitness and wellbeing.

“This has made some bikes difficult to buy and the expense can be out of reach for some families.

“As well as the obvious benefits to physical and mental health, cycling has been shown to increase confidence and improve self-image and gives children a tool to travel and be independen­t without having to use public transport or having to rely on parents for lifts.

“I wanted to see these benefits enjoyed by everyone and not just those who can afford it.

“With this in mind, I Bike has teamed up with the Bike Station Perth and Bikeabilit­y Scotland for this trial of a bike library where we will team up with the schools, lending bikes to children who are living in economical­ly deprived areas of Perth and Kinross.

“We are in the early stages although have already got some takers and we want it to be sustainabl­e long term.”

Some school groups are already doing SQA qualificat­ions in bike maintenanc­e and they need bikes to work on.

They will get help from I Bike and the Bike Station Perth so any donated bikes are fit for riding.

“Our first fleets of bikes have been kindly loaned by Bill Butterwort­h, Perth and Kinross’ Bikeabilit­y Scotland coordinato­r from PKC safer communitie­s team and the Bike Station Perth,” Alice explained.

“These will be loaned for free to pupils who apply to the bike library.

“We are appealing for bike donations to help us keep this project going and roll it out further.

“So if you have an outgrown bike you would like to donate you can take it to Perth Bike Station (284 High Street, between Blend Cafe and Morrisons) on a Friday or Saturday between 10am and 4.30pm, just drop it off and tell the staff it is for the School Bike Library.

Donations don’t have to be in working order but we do need them to have wheels of 24” diameter or greater, suitable for children in P5 or older.”

To find out more get in touch with alice. arnott@sustrans.org.uk or visit https:// ibike.sustrans.org.uk/resources/perthand-kinross-school-bike-library/

For more info on the bike station you can visit https://thebikesta­tion.org.uk/ perth/

 ??  ?? Sorted (L-r): Jenny Rogers and Mikey Woods from the Bike Station Perth with Alice Arnott from Sustrans/I Bike
Sorted (L-r): Jenny Rogers and Mikey Woods from the Bike Station Perth with Alice Arnott from Sustrans/I Bike

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