Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Abandoned bikes restored for NHS key workers

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Three bikes abandoned at railway stations in Bedfordshire have been renovated for NHS key workers at Biggleswade Hospital.

Govia Thameslink donated them to the bike recycling scheme we run with Luton Borough Council, so they could be renovated and donated to NHS key workers through the 'Bikes for Bedfordshire Health Heroes' scheme.

The scheme aims to give a ‘thank you’ to NHS workers and promote safe, sustainable travel, all at the same time. The bikes will help hospital staff get to and from work while maintaining social distancing and getting some valuable extra exercise.

The bikes were selected from those in the best condition from Thameslink’s stocks of abandoned bikes. The mechanics at our long-standing recycling scheme inspected and refurbished the bikes to ensure they were all in safe, roadworthy order.

30 bikes have already been donated to staff at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and Bedford Hospital, and three have been donated, with our help, to staff at the smaller Biggleswade Hospital, which provides mental health services for working age adults.

The renovated bikes, which were presented to the staff on Tuesday 7 July at the hospital, were matched with specific workers who will really benefit from them. One of the recipients was Tracy, who works as an employment specialist.


Tracy said:

I’m super excited to receive my recycled bicycle. As part of my role I am based within the community, working alongside those individuals who are seeking their first steps into employment by enabling them to maintain structure and positivity within this transition.

A bicycle will enable me to get around Biggleswade and Potton in maintaining those one to one appointments with service users and to engage with local employers and charities to develop our service further.

Ria, a social worker who also received a bike said:

Sadly I had never learnt how to ride a bike but always wanted to. With this bike I can learn to ride at last and then use it to cycle to work, which will save money on travel and provide me with daily exercise.

Councillor Steven Watkins, our Deputy Executive Member for Community Services said:

It’s really amazing that our bike recycling scheme is helping to transform the lives of key NHS workers, who have done - and continue to do - so much for us during this time of crisis. We want to do all we can to support them to get to and from work, to visit patients in the community, whilst also to getting some valuable exercise.

Riding a bike has so many benefits for our physical and mental health. It helps combat stress and anxiety. It’s great daily exercise and is the best mode of transport to maintain social distancing and avoid congestion.

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

It’s fantastic working with our partners to support Bedfordshire hospital staff at this challenging time. As key workers ourselves, we’re proud to be supporting NHS staff in the communities we serve.

At a time of great national challenge, we are proud to help keep Britain moving by supporting everyone who still needs to travel by rail. Now, more than ever, is a time when we all need good neighbours, to stay connected, and help each other out.

Can you donate a bike?

If you have a bike you'd like to donate to our bike recycling scheme, please drop it off at:

Luton Borough Council Kingsway Depot
Unit 42
Portland Court

View the depot on Google Maps

The depot's open from Monday to Friday (excluding Wednesday), from 9:30am until 3pm.