Sheffield drivers saddle up and ditch the car

Alan Bagshaw tries out his bike as he takes part in the Sheffield Cycle Boost. Picture: Andrew Roe
Alan Bagshaw tries out his bike as he takes part in the Sheffield Cycle Boost. Picture: Andrew Roe

Drivers have ditched their cars in a scheme to get hundreds of people on their bikes in Sheffield.

Residents and workers in Shiregreen picked up their free bikes and kit as part of the new Cycle Boost initiative.

Angela Walker of Sheffield Cycle Boost. Picture: Andrew Roe

Angela Walker of Sheffield Cycle Boost. Picture: Andrew Roe

They will borrow the equipment for one month to give life on two wheels a whirl – a move that ties in with The Star’s Let’s Get Cycling campaign ahead of the Tour de France coming to Sheffield in July.

Angela Walker, officer for the council-funded project, said: “It’s about getting people to make all those short journeys that they do by car by bike instead, such as riding to work and to the shops.

“The aim is to get 425 people signed up and cycling this year, but I think the number is going to be much higher.

“We’ve had a lot of people getting in touch and asking if they can take part.”

Staff and tenants from Sanctuary Housing, workers from firms Independent Forgings and Alloys, Qualsys and the Steel City Schools Partnership collected their bikes from Firth Park Academy.

Angela said Shiregreen was targeted, as it was an area where people may not traditionally cycle.

She said: “Sanctuary Housing is really keen on getting its tenants to take part in healthy activities and make the area a nice place to be, with people cycling around and using cars less.”

Staff from Sheffield Hallam University also picked up bikes this week as part of the project, which offers cycling courses to introduce beginners to the sport.

It is run by cycling companies on behalf of Sheffield Council, thanks to grants from the Department for Transport.

New schemes will launch every two weeks this year.