A free bikes for Scottish children scheme is being tested out in Angus and Dundee.
Scottish Government transport chiefs have chosen Angus Cycle Hub as one of six groups to run the £2.5m trial.
The Angus cycling group aims to support up to 1,000 children aged 4-16 years from lower income backgrounds with bikes and cycling equipment.
Six pilot projects across Scotland aim to reach 3,000 children.
That means a third of all those supported in the first wave of the free bike scheme will be from the Dundee and Angus areas.
Why is the Scottish Government giving away free bikes in Dundee and Angus?
Transport minister Graeme Dey is also the MSP for Angus South.
He said: “The benefits of providing greater access to bikes for children are obvious.
“It ensures equality of opportunity in building life skills, confidence, independence and embeds healthy and sustainable travel habits from a young age.”
The SNP promised free bikes for all school-aged children who can’t afford them in its election manifesto.
Transport Minister Graeme Dey has announced new pilot projects offering #FreeBikes for school aged children in Scotland who cannot afford one. 🚲
— Transport Scotland (@transcotland) August 17, 2021
It made delivery of the pilot scheme one of the Scottish Government’s commitments for its first 100 days in office.
Mr Dey said the six pilot projects would “refine blueprints for effective local delivery” for a wider roll out across Scotland.
“We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover,” he added.
How will the Angus Cycle Hub scheme work?
The Angus Cycle Hub is a not for profit company that opened in 2014. It is based in Arbroath and runs the Active Travel Hub in Dundee’s waterside development.
It provides a range of services including providing free or low-cost recycled bikes to cyclists, including those trying out journeys on two wheels for the first time.
The hub will pilot a central bike distribution centre for the Angus and Dundee areas.
The hub team will provide bikes after receiving referrals from the other agencies they work with.
Dedicated development workers and bicycle mechanics will support up to 1,000 children aged between four and 16.
Organisers say children will be able to swap bikes as they outgrow their current one.
The six pilot projects – also including parts of Glasgow and the Forth Valley – will test out different ways of buying or recycling the bikes for the children to use.