Residents are being encouraged to sign up to a new scheme - which offers a free temporary bike hire in Merton.

The offer comes following the announcement of a new pop-up cycle hub at 42 Station Road in Colliers Wood.

Brompton Bike Hire is partnering with Hadley Property Group and Clarion Housing to open 'CYCLE 42'.

The hub will offer 50 Brompton folding bicycles to residents on a free 90-day trial basis from March 19.

The scheme, inspired by Brompton’s Wheels For Heroes campaign, started in April 2020 to provide free cycle hire for NHS workers.

Brompton says that they found a significant proportion of people who tried the campaign went on to buy their own bicycle.

Following its success, the new initiative hopes to help improve the mental and physical health of residents in Merton.

After registering online, the first 50 Merton residents will be able to pick up their bikes from the hub during socially-distanced, bookable induction slots from 19-21 March.

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Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, will offer each participant a helmet and high-vis vest, as well as an information pack.

After the free hire period, residents will be able to purchase a discounted refurbished bicycle from Hadley’s charitable partners The Bike Project, also based at 42 Station Road, who repair and upcycle second-hand bicycles, donating the majority to refugees and asylum seekers across London.

Julian Scriven, Managing Director, Brompton Bike Hire, said: “We are delighted that Hadley and Clarion have partnered with us to keep the Wheels For Heroes initiative going, and that we can support CYCLE 42 in Merton.

"These bikes were funded by charitable donations from the public, the places to ride fund and partially by Brompton Bicycle.

"From day one we have been insistent that the story shouldn’t end when Covid-19 is over.

"We will be using these bikes to create a change in people’s travel habits across the nation.”

Developer Hadley is currently in the process of preparing a planning submission to redevelop the site at Station Road.

Hadley says that the proposals include a number of sustainable transport initiatives, in line with its commitment to sustainability and to promoting the use of active and affordable travel in its development locations

These will include the provision of affordable cycle hire, a bike café, water fountains and information boards for cyclists and pedestrians, and generous resident and visitor bike parking.

Matt Griffiths-Rimmer, Director of Communications and Partnerships at Hadley Property Group, said: “This piece of land has been standing unused, and we are really pleased to join forces with Clarion and Brompton Bike Hire to provide a service which makes such a positive difference to local residents, particularly at a time when good news is in short supply.

“CYCLE 42 will create a new hub of community activity on a site which was in real need of activating. It will be great to see more people trying out cycling, and hopefully this will help a significant amount of people to make a permanent switch away from cars for the majority of their journeys."

The scheme is open to those who do not own a bike and will run for 12 months, with the aim to reach 200 residents.

Applications for the scheme will be assessed using a set of needs-based criteria, with priority groups including key workers.

Those not allocated a bike in the first round will be added to a waiting list and will be contacted when a bike becomes available.

To find out more and to register your interest by March 14, visit here.