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Isle of Wight jobseekers can now benefit from a bike recycling scheme to help attend interviews as part of an aim to encourage sustainable travel.

Community hub Aspire Ryde has received £10,000 in funding from the Isle of Wight Council for their ‘Build a Bike to Work’ project which will see jobseekers repair and refurbish old cycles, stripping them down and then rebuilding them.

At the end, each user will have built a bike of their own to keep that will enable them to use peddle power to travel to interviews and employment and training opportunities.

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The scheme forms part of a wider programme of council sustainable transport initiatives using funding from the Department for Transport.

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said:

“I would like to congratulate Aspire Ryde on a really innovative and useful project that will have a beneficial effect for jobseekers and encourage more sustainable travel at the same time.

“This scheme promotes car-free journeys, improves health, cuts harmful CO2 emissions, protects our environment and is another way in which the council is continuing to support and promote active travel to residents.”

Heath Monaghan, Director of Aspire Ryde, added:

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“This is such a simple scheme that will help people to feel as though they belong to a team. It gives focus and skills to help them get ready to become more employable and, to boot, they will get a free refurbished bike to keep.”

It is hoped a minimum of 50 jobseekers will be helped over the course of the project and they will also be asked for feedback on the number of trips they have made using their bikes so that trip volume and CO2 emissions saved can be calculated.

For further information on the scheme and how to get involved, contact Aspire on 01983 716020.

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