Some 30 years after Norman Tebbit, in the wake of the riots of the summer of 1981, told of how his father “didn’t riot – he got on his bike and looked for work,” job seekers in York are to be given the opportunity to do just, that thanks to an initiative from The Bike Rescue Project and local employment advice service, Future Prospects.
According to York Press, The Bike Rescue Project has donated two refurbished bicycles to Future Prospects, which job seekers trying to find work with the help of its advisers can use to get to interviews and commute to work, should they secure it.
Colette Gray, manager of Future Prospects, says that the bicycles will be provided on a short-term loan basis, allowing successful job seekers to cope more easily with the transition into work and coping with a potentially unfamiliar commute.
“We know that people sometimes struggle to take up vacancies on the outskirts of York when they have no private transport and we wanted to raise the profile of cycling as a solution to this,” she explained.
Mark Gell, director of the Bike Rescue Project York, added that access to a bike made it easier to get to work places not served by public transport, and also increased the potential commuting distance to a job, among other benefits.
“Cycling to work helps people manage their morning commitments like the school run, by having more flexibility and cutting the time it takes for them to reach their workplace,” he said.
“Even a novice cyclist will be cycling at an average of about 10mph – that’s five miles in 30 minutes.”
Should the project prove successful, Future Prospects may offer support to help its clients find an affordable loan through York Credit Union, or assist them in accessing The Bike Rescue Project’s buy back initiative, to help them buy a bike of their own.
City of York Council is also providing group cycle training for Future Prospects’ clients to help give them greater confidence in riding a bike.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.