A project dedicated to increasing cycling by restoring unwanted bikes has expanded its operations in the North East.
Recyke y’bike was set up in Byker in Newcastle eight years ago.
It repairs and refurbishes unwanted bikes donated by the public which are sold at an affordable rate to encourage more people to cycle.
Surplus bikes are also exported to Africa for use among needy communities.
Now Recyke y’bike has expanded to Durham City where this week it officially opened a base in North Road.
Durham County Council is supporting the venture which, as well as helping people who couldn’t previously afford to take up cycling, Recyke y’bike’s trained mechanics also help keep people on the road by offering repairs and servicing machines
Neil Foster, council cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “By supporting Recyke y’bike we’re not only helping an extremely worthwhile charity but trying to make sure that cycling is affordable and open to everyone.
“As well as encouraging a healthier, more environmentally friendly way of travelling, and reducing traffic, it also cuts down on the amount of bikes being sent to landfill.”
John Litherland, chairman of Recyke y’bike, said: “We’re delighted to establish the Durham bike shop in North Road and would like to thank Durham County Council for its support in making this possible.”
While most bikes are re-sold, last year 530 were shipped abroad to aid disadvantaged communities in Africa.
At the community social enterprise’s base above the Ouseburn Valley, volunteers of all ages work with part-time members of staff.
The aims are:
• Reducing isolation in communities
• Promoting better physical health through cycling
• Providing employment and training opportunities.
• Promoting the safe use, reuse and maintenance of bicycles
• Reusing bicycles by reconditioning them.
Recyke y’Bike provides training in cycle maintenance and safe cycling with cheaper rates to those disadvantaged financially.
Volunteers receive training in bike maintenance.
The aim is to make good use of all bicycles donated, including salvaging spare parts for onsite use or sale, donation of old wheels, inner tubes, reflectors and scrap parts as a resource for schools and artists.