A ‘bike dock’ on Sunderland’s riverside is to rent out bicycles to the public for as little as £1.00 per hour.

The bike dock – next to the National Glass Centre at St Peters – will be hiring the bikes out at an hourly charge of £1.00 for children and £2.00 for adults.

In addition to ordinary bikes, tandems and child trailers will be available. The dock is located on the Sunderland stretch of the Coast to Coast (C2C) cycle route, which runs from Cumbria to Roker.

The bike dock, run by the Sunderland Community Action Group (SCAG), is being promoted by Sunderland City Council’s ‘Go Smarter’ scheme in partnership with Public Health England.

The bike dock is part of the updated Sunderland Cycle and Sports Hub, which provides a number of sporting and recreational activities for people of all ages and abilities. The activities and services on offer at the Hub include:

  • Walking clubs for ‘Mams, Prams and Grans’
  • ‘Houndog Day’ for dogwalkers
  • Free maintenance for bicycle treads and tyres
  • ‘Happy Friday’ fishing
  • Cycle hire on Saturdays
  • Guide-led cycling and walking events

The nearby University Multi-Use Sports Area also provides a range of activities throughout the year.

Richard Duggan, project manager at the Sunderland Community Action Group, said, “We understand that high costs can sometimes be a barrier to people getting involved in leisure and sport so we’ve reduced our hire prices for bikes and activities so all the local community can take part.”

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to get fit and active without breaking the bank, and we offer a range of activities that are suitable for all age groups and abilities.”

“We are based along the riverside next to the National Glass Centre, taking advantage of the fantastic river views and surrounding cycle path trails. We are also actively seeking volunteers who will have the opportunity to work alongside fully trained members of staff to gain experience and boost self-confidence.”

Sunderland Cllr Julia Jackson and Ritchie Duggan from SCAG at Sunderland City Council’s new Bike Dock

Councillor Barry Curran, who represents St Peter’s Ward, said, “We hope this new community cycling facility will encourage even more people to get on a bike, to exercise and to enjoy the many cycling routes we have across our city.”

“Buying or hiring a bike can be expensive so we hope this new community service will make them more affordable for people who’d like to hire or loan one.”

“Volunteers and staff will also be on hand to offer help and advice to anyone taking to the road on two wheels for perhaps the first time in a long time and also to provide a little routine maintenance for people’s own bikes.”

His ward colleague, Cllr Julia Jackson, said, “Sunderland has long been committed to sustainable transport.”

“We’re already part of the government’s national ‘Go Smarter’ campaign to promote alternative ways of travelling to the car to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.”

“Over the six years of the national campaign, we achieved a lot in Sunderland, working with 80 of the major employers, providing their staff with the encouragement and support needed to consider car sharing, walking, cycling and getting public transport to work.”

“That partnership is continuing with this new hub.”

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