€3m pilot scheme aims to up-cycled old bicycles for people on low incomes

— Government claims it’s the first step widening scope of the Cycle to Work Scheme.

Organisations which want to take part in a three-year pilot initiative for the provision of high quality up-cycled bicycles for those on low incomes need to make an application by noon on May 28.

The trial is aim to provide bicycles to people who are most marginalised and disadvantaged. The pilot is planned to support up to 6 social enterprises in 2021

It’s an initiative between the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Transport.

Joe O’Brien, junior Minister at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development, said: “This scheme will provide a vital transport option to those on limited incomes. Access to bikes and e-bikes can open up a whole range of new opportunities.”

“People will be able to travel further for work, to socialise, to engage with services or simply to enjoy cycling as an activity. In addition, this scheme will also provide training and employment opportunities for those who may have had difficulty accessing the mainstream labour market,” said O’Brian.

He added: “An associated benefit of the scheme will be a reduction in the number of bikes going to landfill as a result of recycling and reusing bikes through the social enterprises engaged on the scheme.”

Organisations eligible to apply are those currently supported under the Community Services Programme or in a partnership/consortium with an organisation already supported.

The Department said that proposals from interested organisations should be submitted to csp@drcd.gov.ie using the application form available on the Department’s website by noon, 28th May 2021

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “I am delighted to provide €3m to fund this Pilot Bike Initiative. It’s an innovative idea that makes economic, environmental and social sense. This is an important step towards fulfilling the commitment in the Programme for Government to widen the scope of the Bike to Work Scheme.”

He added: “It will make the purchase of a bike more accessible to those on lower incomes or outside employment, meaning that cycling will become a viable option for more people around Ireland.”

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

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