Record numbers book in to see Dr Bike

A bicycle maintenance scheme, offering free repairs to encourage more people onto two wheels, has fixed more than three hundred bikes during 2020.

Published: Friday, 11th December 2020

Funded by Cherwell District Council, Dr Bike has serviced 343 bicycles at venues throughout Cherwell, including 64 which have been donated to NHS staff under the Bikes for Key Workers scheme.

Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, Councillor Andrew McHugh said: “Encouraging cycling has always been a priority for Cherwell, with its great physical and mental health benefits and contribution to cleaner air. But with the onset of COVID-19, it became clear that cycling would play an important part in combatting the spread of this awful virus. Dr Bike has enabled people across the district to improve their health and wellbeing for free and given them the ability to travel in a COVID-secure way.” 

Dr Bike was initially piloted in Bicester last year through the council-funded Healthy Bicester partnership. Delivered by community action group Bicester Green, the scheme proved so successful that it was rolled out to the entire district in 2020. Bicester Green continued to support the programme, alongside Banbury Star Cyclists, independent mechanics and volunteers, repairing three times as many bikes than in the previous 12 months.

Celia Cornforth, Centre Manager for Bicester Green, said: “2020 has been a year like no other. We have needed to totally adapt our offer to ensure it is COVID-secure, including taking online bookings to make appointments. In Bicester alone, we’ve managed to get 139 bikes back on the road. This shows a real dedication and selflessness from our mechanics, who made sure every session happened and every bike was fixed, in very testing circumstances.”

Funding has already been secured by Cherwell and Bicester Green from Cycling UK to continue the programme into 2021, with feedback now being sought from Dr Bike users to help shape the service for next year. To take part in the consultation head to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DrBike-feedback

For more information about Dr Bike and to be the first to know about appointments for 2021, follow @cherwelldistrictcouncil, @HealthyBicester, @K5BetterTogether and @BicesterGreen on Facebook.