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Council staff get ready to ‘up-cycle’ around town!

12 April 2016

Staff and Members at Derry City and Strabane District Council will be getting on their bikes and doing their bit for the environment thanks to some unique bikes being made available from this week.

The new scheme is taking an innovative approach to recycling by revamping old Royal Mail bikes and offering them to businesses and organisations keen to offer staff greener alternatives to driving to meetings and engagements. And for every bike purchased under the scheme, a fully refurbished one is sent to a social enterprise project in Malawi, Africa.

The initiative is being delivered in partnership with the walking and cycling charity Sustrans and the Krizevac Project, which assists in the creation of self-sustaining businesses in some of the most deprived regions of Africa.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she was delighted that Council is supporting the scheme. “I’m extremely conscious of the need to provide greener travel alternatives for anyone who wants to preserve the environment.

“Cycling is a great option in terms of promoting the health and well-being of staff, and the fact that the scheme is also assisting poor communities in Africa makes it really worth supporting.

“Most places in and around Derry and Strabane’s centres are very accessible, and easily navigated in a short space of time. I would really encourage staff to avail of the scheme and get on their bikes for a good cause.”        

Speaking on behalf of Sustrans, Area Manager Ross McGill said: “This announcement follows the recent success of the Council’s Cycle to Work Scheme which saw over 60 staff avail of bikes via a rent-to-own system. Now the Council is the first local authority in Northern Ireland to invest in the “up-cycled” Elephant Bikes to enable staff to cycle at work for meetings, site visits and lunchtime exercise. We’re hoping that by leading by example a lot of other companies here will consider supporting it.

“The bikes, which have been made redundant because of the faster pace of the postal service, are perfect for up-cycling and will be a great resource for staff. While we’re not expecting any round trips between the Derry and Strabane Council offices, we would certainly hope that staff will use them for shorter trips to and from meetings locally.”

The new scheme will add to the complement of bikes already available to staff across the council as part of its corporate policy to reduce carbon emissions and promote a healthier more active lifestyle.

To find out more about the scheme go to www.elephantbike.co.uk

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