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'Power Up' bicycle library launch

'Powering Up'!  That's the cycling ethos that is being taken up at a Lowestoft school thanks to a bike library scheme.  A pilot scheme that is aimed at promoting active travel has been launched in the town to build on the legacy of the Tour of Britain.

Children in Year 5 and Year 6 at Phoenix St Peter Academy have saddled up to be part of an innovative new  ‘Bike Library’ scheme. With the pupils given the amazing opportunity to have free and safe access to a bike, the scheme was unveiled with a bike ride along Lowestoft seafront.

The scheme was launched by Suffolk County Council after the free loan bikes were secured using funding from Active Travel England’s capability and ambition fund. With additional funding from Scottish Power Renewables - supporting partner of the Suffolk stage of the Tour of Britain - the pupils and their parents or carers will also be offered a Bike-ability training course to give them the skills, confidence and understanding they need to take their bike on the road. It will also teach them the basics of bike maintenance and how to stay safe while cycling.

As part of the scheme, the Rotary Club of Lowestoft East Point and Lowestoft Rising have also contributed bike locks and helmets to go with the bikes.

Richard Smith MVO, Suffolk County council's cabinet member for economic development, transport strategy and waste, said "I would like to thank Scottish Power Renewables for supporting this pilot project and providing the opportunity to expand what we can offer. This partnership is a positive legacy from the company’s backing of the Suffolk stage of the Tour of Britain."

Ed Rees, Scottish Power Renewables’ East Anglia THREE community liaison officer, said "We’re really excited to be working with Suffolk County Council to deliver the pilot Bike-ability programme for local school pupils."

Matthew Jordan, Executive Headteacher of Phoenix St Peter Academy, said "This is an amazing opportunity for all of Year 5 and 6 children to have free and safe access to a bike. Learning to safely ride a bike is a life skill and one which will give our children great independence in life."