Middleton gets into gear with new bike library

Middleton residents can now jump on a bike for free, thanks to a new ‘bike library’ at the local community hub.

Leeds City Council launched the third of its Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries at the St George’s Centre Community Hub on today (1 August 2016). The new bike library will give local families the opportunity to borrow bikes for free using their current library membership card. There will also be the option to reserve and collect online through the existing library website.

Middleton Park ward councillors (L-R) Kim Groves, Judith Blake & Paul Truswell
Middleton Park ward councillors (L-R) Kim Groves, Judith Blake & Paul Truswell

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“Bike libraries are a fantastic way to encourage people to take up cycling without having to purchase a bike first. I am sure the people of Middleton will take full advantage of this great opportunity.

“This partnership with Yorkshire Bank and Welcome to Yorkshire is another example of how communities are benefiting from the great legacy the Tour de France has provided for the people of Leeds. That legacy is most important in communities like Middleton and Belle Isle, we want more young people to be able to use bikes safely. Part of that aspiration will be met through dedicated cycling facilities being developed in Middleton Park.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said:

“Our community hubs really are the centre of our communities, providing easy access to numerous services. These bike libraries are an excellent example of what is on offer for Leeds residents right on their doorstep. By making cycling more accessible we can help to encourage our residents to be more active and see more of our wonderful city.”

Members of the public are also encouraged to donate their old bikes at the Middleton Park Bike Hub in the old golf house on Middleton Ring Road, or at 2 Great George Street in Leeds city centre. The donated bikes will then be reconditioned and be made available to borrow at the city’s bike library venues. There is more information about donation stations at: bikelibraries.yorkshire.com/donation-stations

The first bike library opened at Moor Allerton Library in January this year, and is already proving popular amongst the local community and the second opened just last week at the Reginald Centre in Chapeltown. Two further bike libraries are planned at the Dewsbury Road one stop centre and the Compton Centre community hub.

Launched as a legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire, the project, which is sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, aims to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike. The project sees unwanted bikes donated at one of the county’s many donation stations, where they are then fixed up and available to hire free of charge. Since the launch of the first library last year, more than 17,000 chances to ride a bike have been offered to children and around 4,000 bikes have been donated.