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Council donates abandoned bikes to help upskill Mile End residents

Bike donation web

Tower Hamlets Council has donated bikes and cycle parts to Mile End Community Project for use in its project to teach bike mechanic skills to residents.

The council recently launched a project to remove abandoned bikes from the borough’s streets. Many of these bikes are in poor condition, look unsightly and are blocking the pavement, or locked to street lighting columns preventing access for maintenance work.

To date, 19 bikes and 3 bike wheels have been removed as part of the project. Officers didn’t want to dispose of two adult bikes, a child’s bike and two cycle wheels that were in usable condition.

Instead, they contacted Mile End Community Project, which runs a scheme called On Yer Bike, designed to empower local people with bike mechanic skills, create employment opportunities and address some of the inequalities in cycling, to see if they could put them to good use.

The team now has an agreement to donate future usable bikes and cycle parts to the charity to help local people upskill and learn new skills in how to fix a bike.

Cllr Maium Talukdar, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“Not only is our bike removal project clearing up our streets of clutter, but by donating the usable cycles we are helping local people to learn and practice new skills.

“It was great to visit Mile End Community Project and see first-hand the fantastic work they are doing as part of On Yer Bike as well as their creative projects.”

Nurull Islam, Founder of Mile End Community Project, said:

“This is a great example of what you can achieve when combining resources and collaborative working. On Yer Bike has been running since 2019 and has donated over 90 bikes to a diverse range of people of all ages.

“The project continues to grow with many different organisations wanting to learn more about our approach and how it can be replicated in their area. It gives me a lot of happiness to know that we’re making a difference to the lives of people in Mile End and hopefully other neighbourhoods in Tower Hamlets.”

On Yer Bike has also distributed hundreds of cycling safety equipment, including helmets, bike light and reflectors, and inspected over 300 bikes in partnership with Dr Bike and provided 72 Santander cycling codes to people in the community, who have carried out nearly 4,000 journeys, averaging 55 trips per person.

Mile End Community Project delivers a range of social and educational activities, focusing on creativity through film production, art and media projects. The organisation also provides sporting, recreational and lifelong learning opportunities for Tower Hamlets residents who may not otherwise engage due to social, cultural, racial or economic challenges. To find out more about Mile End Community Project visit http://www.mileendcommunityproject.org/

Cyclists are encouraged to only use bike locking stands and storage and not to lock their bikes to railings or lampposts or they risk being removed. Once a bike has been removed, a notice is fixed to the post within 24 hours of removal advising of its removal and how to claim ownership. The council stores bikes for a minimum of 14 days before donating or destroying it.

Residents are encouraged to report abandoned bikes to the council for removal via the website at: www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/reportit

Posted on Tuesday 29th November 2022