Statistics show cycling boom in Lanarkshire since Covid restrictions began
Cycling in Lanarkshire has seen an explosion in popularity with a 44% increase in the number of people riding two wheels since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions.
Throughout 2020, NHS Lanarkshire has partnered with various local retailers and community organizations to support local access to maintenance support and used bikes, as well as free bike loans for NHS Lanarkshire staff.
With the coronavirus restrictions putting a halt to many activities, an emerging trend was the noticeable increase in cycling.
Because of this, the demand for and the cost of bicycles has increased, which means low-income families may have found it difficult to purchase theirs.
In an effort to tackle this problem and help people improve their physical and mental health, the NHS Lanarkshire Health Improvement Team has looked at various avenues to improve access to bikes for staff of NHS Lanarkshire and the community at large.
Initially, in partnership with a number of local retailers, this enabled free bicycle loans for NHS Lanarkshire staff. In addition to promoting Cycling UK’s bicycle repair program, to help residents access free bicycle maintenance assistance.
Further efforts to close the equality divide led to the call for bicycle amnesty, which included the repatriation of pre-loved bikes in collaboration with North Lanarkshire Restorative Justice.
The appeal received more than 70 bicycle donations in total, mostly from NHS Lanarkshire staff, ranging from children’s bikes to adult bikes.
The Restorative Justice team serviced the bikes ready for their new owners and provided them to local residents who would otherwise not have been able to access a bike.
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Paul Wright, Health Improvement Manager – Active Travel, NHS Lanarkshire said: “We were keen to encourage people to get on their bikes, but we knew a proportion of individuals and families didn’t. ways. In an effort to resolve this issue, we asked our staff if they had the option of donating any bikes they might have had spares, and the response was incredible. We were delighted to help residents own their own bikes.
Jim Curtis, Director of Services, Restorative Justice, added, “We have been providing bicycle repatriation service for some time. The link with NHS Lanarkshire was extremely welcome at a time of unprecedented demand. The reaction of people receiving a bicycle before Christmas is proof of the value of this service. “