Access Bikes Main Fund FAQs
Access Bikes is an innovative programme that increases access to bikes and cycling for adults that are financially struggling in Scotland. Community organisations throughout Scotland can apply for funding to buy bikes and accessories for adults that they are working with who would like to get a bike and start cycling.
Please see below for everything you need to know about Access Bikes.
- What is Access Bikes?
- Who can benefit from Access Bikes?
- What can Access Bikes grants be used for?
- What kind of bikes can the grants be used to buy?
- Can the grant be used to buy new or second-hand bikes?
- We work with disabled people; can we buy bikes for our project?
- Does Access Bikes offer training and support to new bike owners?
- What is the maximum amount that I can apply for?
- How much can we spend on a bike?
- Is there a specific number of bikes that we can apply for?
- What do you need from us?
- What do you expect from the bike recipients?
- Can the same household be given more than one bike?
- Can the grants be used to buy bikes for children?
- Do I need to see proof of income or benefit status for bike recipients?
- Can you offer support to help us buy the right bikes for our people?
- Will the bikes be delivered to our premises?
- Do we need to store the bikes?
- Are we liable if the bike recipient has an accident on the road?
- What happens if a bike gets stolen?
- How do I apply for Access Bikes funding?
- Am I guaranteed funding if I make an application?
- Can I apply to more than one Access Bikes fund or make multiple applications to the same fund?
- What is the closing date for applications?
1. What is Access Bikes?
Access Bikes is an innovative programme funded by Transport Scotland aiming to increase access to bikes and cycling for adults (aged 18+) that are financially struggling. Community organisations throughout Scotland can apply for funding to buy bikes and accessories for adults that they are working with who would like to get a bike and start cycling. The bikes will then be given to people who need them most.
2. Who can benefit from Access Bikes?
Access Bikes grants are available to organisations working with adults that would otherwise be unable to afford the upfront costs of a cycle. We expect grant recipient organisations to be providing ongoing support to significant numbers of adults who are financially struggling in the communities hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis, to ensure that this funding reaches those who really need it.
To demonstrate that your organisation is an appropriate partner, we would like you to describe the profile of the individuals or communities you already work with. Data or statistics are helpful to confirm and justify our selection of grant recipients. For example data from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD); data on levels of participants receiving Universal Credit or equivalent; information on households struggling to manage financially (whether receiving or not receiving benefits), etc.
3. What can Access Bikes grants be used for?
The funding can be used to buy adult cycles and necessary accessories such as helmets, locks, lights and bike maintenance tools - everything that people will need to start cycling. Bikes can be used for both transport and leisure journeys and the type of bike will depend on the needs of the individuals who will be receiving the bike.
4. What kind of bikes can the grants be used to buy?
Access Bikes grant funding can be used to buy standard upright two-wheel cycles for individuals and non-standard cycles for people with health conditions or particular mobility needs. The grant application form will ask you for the reasoning behind your bike choice.
We will fund bikes suitable for short everyday journeys and leisure cycling. Hybrid, folding and, if the terrain requires it, a mountain bike. We will not fund full suspension mountain bikes, BMX and other bikes that are not practical for everyday journeys. Please note the funding is limited and unfortunately this year we are unable to support the purchase of e-bikes.
5. Can the grant be used to buy new or second-hand bikes?
The grant can be used to buy either new or refurbished second hand bikes from a bike shop or bike recycler. Please note that bikes must be purchased from a reputable supplier so cannot be purchased from Gumtree, Facebook or Ebay. When you make your grant application, we can introduce you to cycle suppliers who will be happy to help you through the selection and purchase process if you do not have a particular supplier in mind.
6. We work with disabled people; can we buy bikes for our project?
Yes, we are happy to fund or contribute towards hand cycles, recumbent cycles, trikes and freewheel attachments.
Where you are considering purchasing non-standard cycles for individuals, you will need to identify potential participants, so please think carefully about who from your community would benefit most from having a cycle; consider factors such as the person’s ability to store a cycle and the ongoing monitoring and evaluation requirement. Someone’s suitability will also depend on their ability to use the cycle independently – you will need to ascertain whether they have the necessary physical and technical skills to ride it without specialist support.
If you’d like to purchase non-standard cycle(s) for use within a fleet of non-standard cycles, rather than for individual ownership, we have another strand of funding specifically for purchases of this kind.
Please email the Access Bikes Team to discuss your application.
7. Does Access Bikes offer training and support to new bike owners?
A limited amount of funding is available to support participants to access bike maintenance and cycle skills training as part of the Access Bikes programme. We can assist with organising this training if you do not have the skills or resources to offer it in-house. Everyone who receives a bike will also be issued with an Essential Cycling Skills book and access to online Cycling UK resources.
8. What is the maximum amount that I can apply for?
Each application will be different depending on the people you are working with. The maximum amount that you can apply for will depend on the specific requirements of the bike recipients. We would expect you to provide detailed costings for the specific bikes and accessories required at the time of application. We would expect you to consider the needs of individuals, bike suppliers and best value for money.
9. How much can we spend on a bike?
We want to make sure that all bikes provided through Access Bikes are good quality bikes from reputable brands that will last and be suitable for everyday use. We would recommend that you research the market and avoid purchases based purely on low costs. The cheapest bikes rarely provide value for money and will likely not stand up to regular use. You should aim to spend between £300-£600 for each standard bike.
We will provide funding up to £5000 per cycle for non-standard cycles for individuals; should you wish to spend more; any excess would need to come from another source.
10. Is there a specific number of bikes that we can apply for?
Yes. Applications should be for a minimum of 3 bikes and a maximum of 20 standard cycles. There are no minimum requirements for Non-Standard Cycles applications.
11. What do you need from us?
You will need to complete an application form, which will include the rationale for your bike choices for each bike recipient as well as a detailed budget form. We would also appreciate your help with co-ordinating bike orders and deliveries. We would also need you to support data collection from up to three email surveys throughout the first year of ownership.
You will need to identify potential participants, so please think carefully about who from your community would benefit most from having a bike; consider factors such as the person’s ability to store a cycle safely and the ongoing monitoring and evaluation requirement. Someone’s suitability will also depend on their ability to use the cycle – you will need to ascertain whether they have the necessary physical and technical skills to ride it.
We would also appreciate your support in finding a local venue to deliver bike maintenance and cycle skills training for your bike recipients. Learning how to look after and use the bike is a key aspect to ensuring the sustainability of the project.
12. What do you expect from the bike recipients?
Bike recipients must agree to the following:
- Be aged 18+
- Provide contact details and consent to their details being shared with Cycling UK
- Complete a baseline survey at the time of bike collection and up to three further surveys throughout the first year of ownership
- Have somewhere safe to store the bike indoors
- Use the bike regularly for transport and leisure purposes
13. Can the same household be given more than one bike?
We know that people are more likely to cycle if they have company so would support multiple adults from the same household to get a bike. We will leave the specific decisions about who gets a bike to your professional judgement.
14. Can the grants be used to buy bikes for children?
No. Access Bikes grants can only be used to buy bikes for adults (aged 18+).
15. Do I need to see proof of income or benefit status for bike recipients?
No. There is no need for people to present proof of income or benefits. We want to make the process as simple for the participants as possible. You know your community better than we ever will and we are happy to trust your professional judgements of their needs.
16. Can you offer support to help us buy the right bikes for our people?
Yes. Every grant applicant will be offered support to help identify and choose a bike supplier. If required, we can provide introductions to local and national bike retailers and manufacturers who will be happy to guide you through the purchasing options and help you to get the best bikes for your people. If you think you will need support with this aspect of the programme, please let us know and we can pair you up with a local bike shop or project.
17. Will the bikes be delivered to our premises?
Depending on the supplier and your location, bikes could either be delivered to your premises or collected instore. Whatever works best for you and your bike recipients. The choice of bikes and suppliers will be up to you.
18. Do we need to store the bikes?
If you get the bikes delivered to your premises, then you would need to store them until the recipients can come and collect them. With a bit of co-ordination, this shouldn’t be for too long. Please remember that if the bikes are to be stored at your premises while waiting for their new owner to collect them, they will need to be covered by your insurance in case of theft.
If you do not have access to storage space, then choosing to collect bikes instore or buying from a local retailer would be the best option for you.
19. Are we liable if the bike recipient has an accident on the road?
We recommend that you get the bike’s new owner to sign a transfer of assets form to show that they are the new owner of that bike and understand the risks, as well as benefits, of cycling.
20. What happens if a bike gets stolen?
Once a bike has been transferred to a new owner it will be their responsibility to look after the bike. Please be assured that we would never expect a bike recipient to replace a stolen bike and firmly believe that prevention is much better than any cure.
We will supply you with Bike Register registration kits as a theft deterrent and to register the bike on their database. That way, if the worst should happen and the bike is stolen there is an increased chance that it could be identified and returned.
Grant funding can be used to buy bike accessories so all new owners will also be issued with a lock – please give careful thought to the type of lock purchased. New bike owners will be signposted to the Cycling UK website where they can access information on bike security.
21. How do I apply for Access Bikes funding?
There is a two stage application process involving an initial Expression of Interest form. This form gives you the opportunity to tell us about your community, your project and the support that you offer to people on low incomes. This information will be submitted to a grant panel and if they think that your organisation can help us get bikes out to people who need them, we will invite you to make a more detailed Grant application including a detailed project budget form for the bikes and accessories that your people will need. This application is also taken to a grant panel for a final decision. Application period closes 31st January 2024 or when all funds are allocated.
22. Am I guaranteed funding if I make an application?
We expect that this will be a very popular fund and applications will be assessed on a number of criteria including impact, location and demographics.
If you would like more information about Access Bikes or would like to discuss making an application, please email the Access Bikes team or contact Gordon Webber on 07919 145476 or email@example.com.
23. Can I apply to more than one Access Bikes fund or make multiple applications to the same fund?
There are three Access Bikes funds: main fund, non-standard fund and recycled fund. Organisations may not apply to more than one fund or make multiple applications to the same fund.
24. What is the closing date for applications?
The closing date is 31 January 2024.