Train operator Southern has gathered a steady stream of bikes that are left at railway stations and are often in good working order.
Before the abandoned bikes are offered up for re-use they are held for a good 2 months giving plenty of time for the owner to collect their cycle.
Pre-Covid, unclaimed cycles in decent condition were sold at auction with all money made donated to charity but this has been impossible due to coronavirus restrictions. This has led to a new scheme to provide the bikes to charities giving new life to the forgotten cycles at a time when cycling has become popular as an outdoor exercise and affordable means of getting a bike has been a priority for many.
Brighton Bike Hub which is a volunteer-run organisation and Cranks in Brighton, which is a not for profit organisation, have both benefited from more than 50 bikes that have been left on the Southern Rail network, giving new life to the forgotten or abandoned bicycles.
Southern delivered each of the not-for-profit workshops 27 bikes each, and these will be refurbished to get them back on the road again.
Southern selected the cycles in the best condition from those that had been left between Portsmouth and Brighton over the past few months. Charities in both Chichester and Newhaven have also been gifted large donations.
Cranks and Brighton Bike Hub are both workshops with an aim to create affordable bicycles by recycling bikes. Both workshops also offer parts at low cost and also give out advice on repairing and maintaining your own bike even providing space for you to do so.
Duncan Blinkhorn of Brighton Bike Hub said: “It’s great to receive these bikes at a time when so many people are wanting to cycle. Our volunteer team have immediately set about fixing the bikes up to get them back on the road and into the hands of people who will really appreciate them.”
Al Bailey of Cranks said: “Thank you so much from all of us here for the kind donation of over two dozen bikes. The donations really help keep organisations like us running and enable us to help as many people from different walks of life as possible We have already been busy repairing and stripping them for all the useful parts and they have gotten plenty of cyclists back on the road. Two bikes have already been sold and the money has gone back into the project. Another was given to an NHS organisation helping people to move forward in healthy pathways and the rest are definitely destined for good things.”
Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with all our partners to promote healthy, green transport by extending the life of previously unwanted bikes. Brighton’s community workshops can ensure these bikes are made roadworthy and find deserving new owners. And by encouraging young people to cycle and look after their bikes we’re creating lasting benefits for their future.
“At this challenging time, we’re proud to help keep Britain moving safely and sustainably. We’re building strong local partnerships right across our network to help communities recover and prosper.”
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