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Free bike boost for Greater Manchester jobseekers


Hundreds of free bikes are ready to be handed over to Greater Manchester’s jobseekers to help them start 2016 with a new career.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) Bike Back to Work scheme has around 400 recently refurbished bicycles to help people commute to their new jobs.

A bike can be a vital alternative for jobseekers who might struggle to get to work without one because of things like shift patterns and a lack of alternative commuting options.

Eligible applicants will also receive free equipment, such as helmets and hi-vis vests, and access to free cycle training.

Hotel night porter Connor Stephens, from Ashton-under-Lyne, successfully applied for a bike when he was offered a job at Ashton Leisure Park. The 20-year-old often works shifts, sometimes starting in the early hours of the morning, which limits his commuting options.

He said: “The bike has made a really big difference getting to work. It saves me so much time.
“It used to take me 30 minutes to walk there, but now it takes about 10 minutes. I’ve already recommended the scheme to my friends.”

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This is a really worthwhile scheme which could help hundreds of people in Greater Manchester get to work.

“We hope they enjoy their low-cost commute and continue to cycle for many years. It’s a great way to get around and stay fit, and helping people to travel to work by bike will benefit the local economy as well as the environment.”

TfGM can supply bicycles anywhere across Greater Manchester. Job seekers can collect them from suppliers in Wigan, Trafford, Bury, Manchester, Oldham and Stockport.

People should apply for bikes directly via their JobCentre Plus or Work Programme adviser.

For more information on the Bike Back to Work Scheme, click here and click on the ‘Jobseeker’ section.

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Brian Everall

Editor at large, SalfordOnline.com