Putting abandoned bikes to good use at Sussex Downs

Paul Kay and Dale Campbell SUS-141124-140402001

Paul Kay and Dale Campbell SUS-141124-140402001

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An initiative between a college and the council to reuse abandoned and unclaimed bicycles has been successful.

The Motor Vehicle department at Sussex Downs College has teamed up with Eastbourne Borough Council to recondition abandoned or stolen bikes.

Abandoned or stolen bikes from across Eastbourne are retained by the council for four weeks. If they remain unclaimed, bikes are released to the Motor Vehicle Department at the college for reconditioning.

Students and staff can then use a reconditioned bike for their commute. The scheme puts old bikes to good use, eliminating waste, plus it helps the students gain skills in repair work, and it encourages exercise and a healthier environment by offering the bikes to those for their college commute.

The Motor Vehicle Department currently has around 30 bikes for reconditioning. One student who has put the initiative to good use is Dale Campbell, 18, from Eastbourne. The Bodywork and Mechanical Level 3 student had an old BMX bike but hadn’t ridden in five years. Before the summer holidays, he was given a reconditioned bike and now cycles the 15-minute journey to college.

Paul Kay, curriculum leader presented Dale with a new helmet to accompany his bike, along with a certificate, for achieving 100 per cent attendance in the last three years. Whilst some bikes have been reconditioned for future use, others have been transformed by students, including a new and unique electric bike.