An Edinburgh bike shop is offering free bikes to key workers.
Under the ‘hero bikes’ scheme offered by The Bike Station, key workers can request a free bike along with a helmet, lock and light.
The plan is supported by Transport Scotland, Paths for All, Discovery Bike Tours, Spokes, and Edinburgh City Council.
The shop defines ‘key workers’ in line with government guidelines, including workers in health and social care, childcare and education, local and national government, food supply, public safety and national security, transport workers, and utility, communications and financial services workers.
Only those living and working in Edinburgh and Perth can apply. The scheme will run for six months, after which point beneficiaries can choose to keep their bike or donate it back to the shop.
The shop has now set up an online fundraiser so supporters can donate to the scheme.
The target is £25,000 for 100 bikes for key workers.
“We have never been prouder or more grateful to key workers in our cities,” said organisers of the scheme, which operates at The Bike Station branches in Edinburgh and Perth.
“In the face of a massive public health crisis their collective efforts have been truly heroic. The Bike Station and all our partner organisations want to do our part in helping our heroes to get to work and safely home again.
“Our Hero Bikes scheme is providing free bikes to Perth and Edinburgh key workers in need, along with lights, locks and helmets so they can cycle safely.
“Providing free bikes means workers will have access to safe and affordable independent transport and just as importantly, a means to look after their health and well being.”
A £150 donation to the bike shop will cover the cost of a bike, while £50 will buy a helmet and a further £30 will pay for lights and a lock.
The first person to receive a free bike was Erin Tindal, a care home worker in Perth.
She said: “It was mostly out of necessity really that I wanted to cycle. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did. It’s amazing. I’ve been cycling in all weathers as well which has been fab.”