The Donegal Green Party has welcomed the launch of a €3million, three-year pilot initiative for the provision of high quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes for those on low incomes and those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged.
Michael White, Chairperson of the Donegal Greens welcomed the initiative as a huge step forward in making sustainable travel more accessible to the Donegal community:
“This is a great way to encourage bike ownership and helps spread the benefits to people who can’t access the Bike to Work scheme. During the pandemic we have seen a huge increase in cycling across Donegal and this scheme, in combination with the recently announced funding for Donegal cycleways, keeps up that momentum.”
They say the initiative, launched by Green Party Ministers Joe O’Brien TD and Eamon Ryan TD today, will take a significant step towards achieving the commitment in the Programme for Government to widen the scope of the Bike to Work Scheme.
The funding also helps to recognise the importance of cycling as an essential form of transport for many during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Announcing the scheme, Minister O’Brien commented “This scheme will provide a vital transport option to those on limited incomes. Access to bikes and e-bikes can open up a whole range of new opportunities. People will be able to travel further for work, to socialise, to engage with services or simply to enjoy cycling as an activity. In addition, this scheme will also provide training and employment opportunities for those who may have had difficulty accessing the mainstream labour market.”
The creation of this scheme also acknowledges the environmental and practical potential of upcycling bicycles and e-bikes, Minister O’Brien added “An associated benefit of the scheme will be a reduction in the number of bikes going to landfill as a result of recycling and reusing bikes through the social enterprises engaged on the scheme.”
Applications are now being sought from eligible local organisations for inclusion on this programme. Full details of the scheme and the necessary application form will be available at www.gov.ie/drcd.