Inclusive cycling in Derry/Londonderry has just been given a boost thanks to Bike-ability NI from Disability Action.
Officially launched at St Columb’s Park House in the city and funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA), the project will see Disability Action and Shopmobility Foyle working in partnership.
Two adapted bikes have recently been purchased to enable a 'pilot' to cycle and a person with a physical disability or low mobility to ride on the front, either using a purpose-built platform or a supportive seat. Pilot cyclists will all receive training prior to hiring the bike, and it's possible to arrange for a volunteer pilot through ‘Far and Wild’, a local outdoor adventure company.
Lisa Blackery-Prince, Access and Inclusion Officer at Disability Action, commented, “We are delighted to introduce the first adaptive bikes of this kind to Northern Ireland through the Bike-ability NI project. The project provides an exciting opportunity for people with disabilities and their families to have fun participating in a fully accessible activity together."
Pictured: CTC Chief Executive Gordon Seabright, Kevin Doherty and Lisa Blackery-Prince (Disability Action), Lord Mayor Martin Reilly, Paula Martin (Shopmobility)
The bikes here today show how inventive product development can open up cycling to people who thought that it wouldn’t be for them. There are lots of different types of bikes on the market now that can make cycling accessible to a range of people with disabilities. However, what is of vital importance is that people have safe and accessible cycle routes in their local areas."
Chief Executive, CTC
Brendan Bonner from PHA added, "Everyone knows that getting out and about is good for the body and the mind. However we also know that there are barriers that exist for people with disabilities.
"At PHA we want to help break down these barriers and this new project is a way of starting to do that. The project will enable people with disabilities to get out and explore their city in a new way via existing cycle lanes.
"We are supporting this initiative as part of our drive to stimulate a legacy from the City of Culture 2013 whereby all residents have access to recreation and leisure activities in a city where people can improve their health by being more active.”