The Bike Station
The Bike Station is a community project that accepts donated bikes from members of the public and recycles them for use by priority groups of people such as the long term unemployed, those who have been homeless and those with mental health problems. A proportion of renovated bikes are sold to raise funds. The Workshop is run by a volunteer management committee. The bicycle renovation is carried out by volunteers under the guidance of two part time workshop managers/mechanics.
A part-time outreach worker is employed to make links with organisations and people who would benefit from the services of the workshop, and to fundraise. The Bike Station was formerly Castlecliff Bicycle Workshop, the name changed following the move from Castle Terrace to the current premises under Waverley Station. The new premises and staff means there is great potential for expanding our activities within the workshop as well as 'on-site' bike maintenance workshops in schools and community groups throughout Edinburgh.
The workshop has seven workstands and a fairly comprehensive selection of bike tools. We are able to carry out most bicycle maintenance tasks within the workshop.
Many years ago, SPOKES had a bike workshop in a basement in Drummond Street. The idea was to provide somewhere for people to fix their own bikes. The reality was that a few people did, but more were hoping to get their bikes fixed for them!
A few years later a second bike workshop in Tollcross turned into a depressing repository for unwanted junk bicycles.
Since then there has always been a feeling that a Bicycle Workshop would be a 'good idea'. But nothing has emerged until now.
The Recent Past
About four years ago, SPOKES began heavily promoting "Safe Routes to School" (SR2S) following the lead of Sustrans (mainly in England). This led to the creation of Lothian Safe Routes (LSR). One school that became heavily involved in SR2S in general, and encouraging cycling in particular, was Sciennes.
Sciennes was the first school in Edinburgh to put Cycle Training on the curriculum for ALL pupils. Inevitably a few didn't have bikes, and some children didn't have safe bikes.
So began the collection and refurbishment of bikes. Bikes were lent to parents and teachers. Since then bikes have been given to (former) homeless people referred by City of Edinburgh Council's Access Point.
This led to the development of Castlecliff Bicycle Workshop on Johnston Terrace, the precursor to The Bike Station.
We were moved out of the Johnston Terrace workshop as the building was to be converted into a hostel for homeless. During the summer of 2002, we moved to a basement workshop directly underneath the main concourse in Waverley train Station.
The move and an injection of cash into the project has enabled to us to employ two part time workshop managers, buy tools and other equipment. The workshop has now been up and running for a while, and we have been expanding our activities.
For further information, contact:
Grace Nicol, John Askham or Rory MacGlone
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