A new scheme to encourage key workers to choose cycling as their preferred mode of travel has got off to a flying start. Within a week of its launch, the Isle of Wight Council’s Key Worker Cycle Scheme has given more than 30 key workers access to a bicycle and enabled over 100 more to repair bikes which they already own.
The initiative enables key workers to have free access to a bike on long term loan, and where a key worker already owns a bike, the scheme will provide a £50 voucher which can be redeemed against repairs and essential accessories.
One of the first participants in the cycle loan scheme was Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Cath Quin, based out of Yarmouth.
She said: “The arrangement to loan a bike was really easy and the bike was delivered quickly. It’s making a big difference to my ability to get around the rural West Wight and do my job.”
The council is working in partnership with established Island cycle hire businesses, Wight Cycle Hire and RouteFifty7, as well as cycle shops and mobile cycle mechanics to deliver the scheme.
“It’s making a big difference to my ability to get around the rural West Wight and do my job,” — PCSO Cath Quin.
It forms part of the council’s Connect2Work initiative, which promotes sustainable and active travel options to employees and jobseekers, and its Access Fund programme, delivered using external funding secured from the Department for Transport.
Council leader Dave Stewart said: “Key workers are essential to keeping the Island running at this challenging time, and this scheme will support those key workers for which cycling can form part of their travel plans.
“With much lower levels of vehicular traffic currently on our roads and with summer approaching, there’s no better time for key workers to consider cycling for commuting and business travel.”
“Key workers are essential to keeping the Island running at this challenging time,” — Councillor Dave Stewart.
Claire Compton, director of RouteFifty7, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Isle of Wight Council to deliver the new 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 new scheme include a helmet, a lock and delivery.
For full details of the scheme please visit www.connect2work.info/