New bike libraries across Manchester are boosting access to cycles in local communities

The new scheme allows people to borrow a bike with the aim of encouraging people to take advantage of new cycling routes.

By Emma Davidson | November 17th '22

A new scheme that provides bike libraries to local communities has launched across Greater Manchester, following a £145,000 investment from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

The libraries are aiming to encourage people to take advantage of new cycling routes being delivered as part of the Bee Network across Greater Manchester.

A total of 15 bike libraries are currently live – in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport – with 13 more set to launch over the coming months.

26 community organisations, ranging from primary schools to healthcare providers, have received a grant of up to £5,000 to help set up a bike library. Funding has also been made available for each organisation to access training to help with the maintenance of their bikes.

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner, said: “Bike libraries are an essential part of the GM strategy and enable more people to access cycling in a way and at a time that is right for them.

“Many people using the libraries may have cycled before but need the flexibility of borrowing a bike to help them rebuild their confidence and try new routes. They are also a good way of working out what sort of bike they may need.

“Along with the cycle hire scheme, which aims to support shorter journeys by bike in specific parts of Manchester, Salford and Trafford, bike library loans are reaching further afield and enabling people to explore their local area at their leisure.”

Walking, wheeling and cycling are central to the future of transport in the city-region and a key component in the delivery of a fully-integrated transport system, known as the Bee Network, and access to bikes – though schemes like bike libraries – is a critical element of that.  

The majority of the bike libraries now open have standard bikes in a variety of sizes available for people to borrow for free, others request a small charge to support with maintenance and upkeep of the bikes.

If you have a bike you no longer use and would like to donate it, then please contact your local bike library to discuss arranging this.