New life for old bikes

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Secondary schools are invited to join in a scheme to restore abandoned bikes that would otherwise be scrapped.

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The new scheme sees pupils rebuilding and repairing the bikes alongside trained cycle mechanics. If they complete the course they get to keep the bike.

It’s being run by the council’s road safety team with the help of the inspection and enforcement team who are responsible for rounding up abandoned bikes. Bicycles that are tagged by the council and remain unclaimed on the public highway for 14 days are removed and stored for a further three months. After this, the bikes are scrapped.

Now, though, the enforcement officers are making the bikes available for the restoration scheme, which also gives the young people taking part level 2 cycling training.

Ernest Bevin College in Tooting and Southfields Academy have both taken part so far and feedback has been positive. An Ernest Bevin teacher said “The boys learnt a whole new skill set and got a lot out of the course. We would love to run it again.”

The council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services Cllr Will Sweet said: “We hope that this scheme will teach our young people a new skill and encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle, while at the same time making good use of bikes that otherwise would be destined for scrap.”

Any schools or youth groups interested in taking part should email

Find out more about cycle safety, maintenance and training at