Train operator Greater Anglia has donated more than 120 bicycles to an Essex-based charity which helps people in Africa.
After donating an initial 60 earlier this year, the company has now donated more than 60 more this month.
Re-Cycle (Bikes to Africa), based near Colchester, takes used bikes and sends them to rural communities in Africa, enriching the lives of those less fortunate, by giving them the gift of independence. The charity also provides training to mechanics on how to service and repair the bikes, enabling a bike to become more sustainable.
Every year, cyclists in Cambridge are asked to remove any unused bikes from Cambridge cycle point as part of Greater Anglia’s regular maintenance programme. Abandoned and unused bikes are removed to free up space and enable a deep clean at the three-storey cycle park, which is located next to Cambridge railway station. Cycles which are unclaimed after three months are donated to charity.
Greater Anglia’s head of facilities management, Mark Ellis, said: “We are very pleased to support Re-Cycle by donating these abandoned bikes from Cambridge cycle point.
“People living in rural Africa can walk for miles a day to collect water, or to get to school or work. A bike can change someone’s life, and we are pleased to be able to help Re-Cycle with their mission to help people in Africa access sustainable bike transport.
“Cycle point is a safe, free, space for people to park their bikes and we are committed to keeping it in good condition for the thousands of people who use it every day. We would like to thank the CB1 estate for their continued support with keeping the cycle point safe and secure.”
Claire Kettle, Director of Re-Cycle, said: “We are very grateful to Greater Anglia for the bikes they donated to us recently, which will help to change even more lives in Africa. The bikes will either be going to our partners in Zambia or Ghana.
“Every year we receive thousands of used bikes at our warehouse which are put to good use instead of ending up in landfill. Since Re-Cycle began sending bikes to Africa in 1998 we have shipped almost 115,000 bikes.
“We are conscious about the environment and about changing lives, not only overseas but here in the UK. We hope to strengthen our partnership throughout Great Anglia so that we can put any abandoned bikes to good use.”
Cambridge cycle point, which opened in February 2016, cost £2.5m and has 2850 cycle spaces. It’s the biggest facility of its kind in the country and is free of charge
The cycle park has CCTV and lighting throughout and security patrols are carried out the day and night.