Abandoned bikes are donated for recycling

Abandoned bikes are recycled

TAG Bikes trainer Ian Shaw (fifth from left) receives the abandoned bikes from GTR - Credit: GTR

Bikes abandoned at the region's railway stations have been donated to a Huntingdon scheme which helps people with learning difficulties acquire new skills and vital work experience.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) handed over 30 bikes to the TAG Bikes workshop at Huntingdon Community Centre where members of the team will repair them before selling them to the local community at affordable prices.

GTR has supported Cambridgeshire County Council-run charity TAG before with donations of bikes left at stations on its routes.

Two van loads of bikes from the Letchworth depot, which were unclaimed by their owners,  have now been delivered to TAG for recycling by the team of 15 led by an employment skills worker who is a qualified bike mechanic.

Jenny Saunders, Thameslink and Great Northern customer services director, said: "A surprising number of bikes get left on our network, so we’re delighted to help charities and local authorities who run schemes to make them roadworthy again.

"Local communities are gaining new skills and work experience and providing an affordable way for more people to enjoy the health and environmental benefits of cycling. It’s a real win-win-win all round, and we’ve now donated well over 1,000 bikes to schemes across the South East."

She added: "More and more people are cycling to our Thameslink and Great Northern stations because we've been putting in better facilities with new racks and improved security."

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Cllr Susan van de Ven, vice chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults and Health Committee, said: “The bike donations we receive are vital to the success of TAG Bikes and helping the development of our learners.

“I’d like to thank GTR for its generous support which will help this brilliant community initiative and allow us to get more people with learning disabilities into work and to improve their independence.”

The TAG team service and repair the bikes and money raised by the sale goes back into the charity, run as part of the council's Supporting into Work initiative, and has already helped pay for computer equipment and spare parts.

The scheme gives people with learning difficulties a chance to acquire skills and to gain experience of working.