Barclays Bank, sponsor of London’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme and Barclays Cycle Superhighways, has announced that it is partnering with Bikeworks to hold a series of free roadside bike clinics in the capital over the next two months.
Great news if you live in the capital, but Barclays has said that it doesn't plan to roll the initiative out to other UK towns and cities. They do however have plans for a national helmet promotion in the pipeline.
The bank says it conducted research among more than 1,000 bike owners in London highlighting that nearly three in five people are riding bikes that are unroadworthy, with over a quarter riding around with flat tyres.
Barclays says that lack of maintenance means that growing numbers of cyclists in London are experiencing a fault with their bike on a regular basis, so in a repeat of an initiative launched last year, it has teamed up with social enterprise Bikeworks to hold roadside safety checks over the next two months.
The first of these clinics took place last wednesday evening at several key commuter routes, and will continue each Wednesday 17:00 - 19:30, until 3 July. Those locations are:
Barclays Bike Clinic Locations:
Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Retail and Business Banking at Barclays, commented: “Our research reveals one in five cyclists don’t know how to do any bike maintenance whatsoever.
“At our bike clinics, cycles will get a free once-over by a qualified mechanic and cyclists will be given some basic bike maintenance tips.
“We want to inspire as many people as possible to cycle and our research shows 15 per cent of people would cycle more in London if they knew how to better maintain their bikes."
Jim Blakemore, co-director of social enterprise Bikeworks, added: “More than two in five London cyclists have never had their bike checked by a professional bike shop technician.
“The 45 clinics Barclays is hosting around the capital provide everyone with the opportunity for a free bike check and our Cycle Into Work graduates are among the best mechanics in the country."
It sounds like the sort of initiative to roll out in other UK cities - after all Barclays do have a national branch network - so we asked Barclays if they had any plans on this front, and here's their response:
"Barclays is delighted with the success of Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways in London, and our partnership with the social enterprise Bikeworks. There are no plans to sponsor similar schemes in other locations, with London being a focus as it is the city of our global headquarters.
Many visitors to London are able to enjoy the benefits of the schemes, and some of our cycling initiatives - for example we are soon to launch a national helmet promotion - will naturally be available to a wider audience."