West Yorkshire is to spend a portion of the £2.8 million it was recently granted from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund on supplying bikes to jobstarters who are coming off the dole and have no other way of getting to work.
A spokesman for Metro, West Yorkshire’s transport body, told the Telegraph and Argus: “We will be funding a further 150 reconditioned bikes and sets of cycling accessories for jobseekers, who have a job start but no means to get there.
“Bradford JobCentre Plus will be allocated a proportion of these, so jobseekers attending the JobCentres in Bradford, Shipley and Keighley will be able to access these for ‘wheels to work’.
“This funding will also support NEETS [young people not in employment, education and training] and apprentices.”
The bikes will come from Bradford volunteer organisation Cycle re Cycle which has already supplied 100 bikes in an earlier, smaller incarnation of the programme.
The grant will also be used to fund cycle training to help parents ride to school with their children.
However, most of the funding will be spent on public transport including a free MetroCard to help people with new jobs travel to work, and expansion of the region’s smart card programme.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.