A PILOT bike loan scheme which will help young people to get to school and work in Basingstoke will launch in September.

The scheme, which will provide young people aged between 10 and 19 with welcome transport to get to work and to school, will be run by Basingstoke Voluntary Action, the Cranbourne, Vyne and Costello Local Children’s Partnership, which is an arm of Hampshire County Council’s Hampshire Children’s Trust, and the Basingstoke Community Furniture Project.

The project will be piloted in Cranbourne, the Vyne and the Costello school areas of Basingstoke.

The Basingstoke Community Furniture Project was recently awarded funding from the National Lottery to finance the £1,650 scheme, which will launch on September 1.

As part of the scheme, a bike and lights, helmets, a padlock, pump and puncture repair kit will be provided to the successful applicants of the programme as well as training and guidance on bicycle maintenance and safety training.

Once a person using the scheme can show that they are able to pay for their own transport costs or choose to use an alternative method of transport, they will then return the bike to the scheme.

The move by the partnership follows the results of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s “Big Say” survey in which young people said that transport costs were the largest barrier to travelling around the borough.

Ed Ives-Wara, youth strategic manager at Basingstoke Voluntary Action, told The Gazette: “It is a positive programme.

“It is not just about work. It is about getting people into school who are not attending and use excuses like they can’t afford buses or their parents can’t so this will mean no excuses.

“Now, if attendance is below the threshold, the school will contact us and we will work with the young person and their family, and give them a bike to enable them to get to school.”

To donate a bike to the scheme, contact the Basingstoke Community Furniture Project on 01256 320700.