Hundreds of refurbished bikes are waiting to be handed over to job seekers in Greater Manchester as part of a new scheme. Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) Bike Back to Work scheme seeks to help people who might otherwise struggle to commute to a new job.
Around 400 bikes having already been distributed and TfGM says it can provide them anywhere in Greater Manchester. Suppliers are based in Wigan, Trafford, Bury, Manchester, Oldham and Stockport with applications made via the local JobCentre Plus or a work programme adviser.
Successful applicants will also receive free equipment, including helmets and hi-vis vests, as well as the option to undertake free cycle training.
Connor Stephens from Ashton-under-Lyne was one of the early beneficiaries of the scheme. He now works as a hotel night porter at Ashton Leisure Park where shifts starting in the early hours mean he doesn’t have many commuting options.
“The bike has made a really big difference getting to work. It saves me so much time. It used to take me 30 minutes to walk there, but now it takes about 10 minutes. I’ve already recommended the scheme to my friends.”
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said:
“This is a really worthwhile scheme which could help hundreds of people in Greater Manchester get to work.
“We hope they enjoy their low-cost commute and continue to cycle for many years. It’s a great way to get around and stay fit, and helping people to travel to work by bike will benefit the local economy as well as the environment.”