Bicycles for all as Tour glory goes on in region

Mark Cavendish leads the cyclists down the Headrow at the Start of the Tour De France 6th July 2014 Picture by Simon Hulme
Mark Cavendish leads the cyclists down the Headrow at the Start of the Tour De France 6th July 2014 Picture by Simon Hulme
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CYCLING legends Bernard Hinault and Brian Robinson are teaming up today to launch an innovative scheme that will give people in Yorkshire the perfect ticket to ride.

The Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries initiative aims to build on the White Rose county’s successful hosting of the Tour de France by making sure cycling is available to all, particularly children.

People are being asked to drop off unwanted bikes at donation stations in places including York, Leeds, Bradford, Hebden Bridge and Sheffield.

Community and not-for-profit groups will then be able to bid for funding to run ‘libraries’ where the fixed-up bikes can be hired out for free.

The scheme is being organised by Yorkshire Bank and Cycle Yorkshire, a partnership comprising the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency, local authorities and key cycling groups.

Five-time Tour de France champion Mr Hinault and Mirfield’s Mr Robinson, the first-ever Briton to win a stage of the Tour, will be joined at today’s launch in Leeds by professional cyclist Scott Thwaites. Mr Thwaites, from Leeds, said: “I think people always remember their first bike or the first time they hopped on a saddle. For many it’s the start of lifelong enjoyment but not everyone’s fortunate enough to have access to a bike – hopefully this project will change that.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “I’m delighted that Yorkshire Bank shares our passion for helping everyone in Yorkshire to have access to a bike.”

For information on donation sites, visit www.bikelibraries.co.uk.