Access Bikes - Recycled Bikes FAQs
Access Bikes is an innovative programme that increases access to bikes and cycling for adults that are financially struggling in Scotland. Access Bikes Recycled is a strand of the programme that gives refurbished bikes to people who would have been unable to afford the costs of a bike.
1. How does the scheme work?
The cost-of-living crisis has had a disproportionate effect on people on lower incomes and we all know people who are struggling financially. Cycling can be a cost-effective mode of transport which can make life easier for people on low incomes. Transport Scotland has asked us to pilot a project to help more people that are financially struggling to get a bike and start cycling. Access Bikes Recycled will give refurbished bikes to people who would have been unable to afford the costs of a bike. These bikes should be purchased to carry out everyday journeys but can also be used for leisure and cycling for health.
2. How do we apply to take part in the scheme?
The partners for the pilot programme have already been selected. If you would like to register for future programmes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with Recycled in the subject line.
3. What is the timescale for the project?
The fund will open in June 2023, and we are keen to get the funding distributed as quickly as possible so that people can get their bikes and start cycling in the summer months. We all know that these are the best months for cycling and if we want people to become regular cyclists, we have a better chance of them continuing cycling through the winter months.
4. How many bikes can we hand over?
We will allocate you £2000 to be used for the purchase of recycled bikes for Access Bikes customers. When you have spent and reported on 75% of that funding you will be able to apply for further funding. In this pilot year, we have enough funding for 400 x £250 recycled Access Bikes throughout Scotland and will be ensuring a good geographical coverage.
5. How do we report on the bikes that are handed over?
We will ask you to fill in a transaction data form for each bike that you hand over to someone in your community. It is important that these forms are returned as soon as possible and definitely within five working days of each handover. This will allow us to start monitoring their use with each new owner. We will check in with you monthly to see how many bikes have been allocated.
6. What is the maximum payment for an Access Bike?
Access Bikes can cost up to £250.
7. Can we use Access Bikes funding to buy essential cycling accessories like helmets, lock and lights?
Yes, if your customer needs, and will use the accessories they can be included in the transaction. If your price point for recycled bikes allows you to include accessories in the £250 please include accessories if requested. If your price point for the bike is closer to £250 you can still use the funding for any requested accessories. Please note that the value of the bike itself must not be over £250.
8. Can we include a voucher for servicing as part of the Access Bikes package?
If you can provide a bike for less that £250 and can include the cost of a service within that budget of £250 then please do. If you are including a service with the bike, please include this as an accessory in the transactional data return form.
9. What kind of bike can be an Access Bike?
We will provide funding for bikes that would be suitable for everyday use. Something that suits the type of journeys that they will be making and will be suitable for commuting, or other practical journeys. Mudguards and a pannier rack are things to consider, and the bike will need to stand up to everyday use. We understand that the bikes will have been donated and you can only work with the materials that you have but are looking for high-quality second-hand bikes. Funding cannot be used for full suspension mountain bikes, BMXs or other bikes that are not practical for everyday journeys.
10. Do we need to ask for benefit letters or proof of income to allow people to access the scheme?
No, this scheme does not use means testing and people do not need to provide any proof of income to get a bike from Access Bikes. You know your community and your customers better than we ever will so we are happy to accept your professional judgement. If you have pre-existing relationships with community organisations that you know support people who are financially struggling, that can be a good way of ensuring that cycles reach people that really need them. Please give us a call to discuss and we may be able to link you up with suitable community organisations in your area.
11. How do we identify people who are struggling financially to benefit from the scheme?
Maybe someone comes in for a repair on a really poor-quality bike and tells you that they cannot afford the costs of the repairs. Access Bikes funding can be used to swap out their old bike and replace with a better one.
Maybe someone trying to replace a stolen bike but having to buy a poorer quality replacement because they don’t have the money available.
Maybe someone comes in looking for a commuter bike but is shopping at the lowest price point.
Maybe someone who has recently attended some training, intends to cycle for transport but doesn’t have their own bike.
Maybe someone who has attended led rides with your project but doesn’t have their own bike.
This list is not exhaustive, just a few suggestions to get you thinking about people that you might be working with.
12. Do people have to live in a specific area to get an Access Bike?
Access Bikes is a Scotland-wide scheme so open to anyone living in Scotland. We are working with a number of different partners to get bikes out to people in need across the country.
13. Can we publicise the scheme?
We predict that there will be high demand for the scheme so would be very cautious about promotion as we will be unable to meet the demand. We will be operating this pilot through word of mouth and your existing relationships within your community, so don’t foresee the need for wider promotion.
14. 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.