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Northamptonshire - Councillor blasts free bike scheme

A scheme to give young people free bicycles instead of bus passes has come under criticism in Northamptonshire.

The local council has backed plans to make cuts to the #163;719,000 budget for ferrying 16- to 19-year-olds to schools and colleges.

The council will now only give half of the money needed for transport by young people who are on low incomes, have learning disabilities or are disabled.

Instead, some will be signed up to a scheme where they will receive a bike, cycling tuition and a grant for maintenance.

Free transport campaigner, councillor John Yates, told Northamptonshire County Council's cabinet members: "Would you be prepared to cycle six miles every day on our county's dangerous roads, which have high accident rates? It's disgraceful."

Conservative leaders of the council have said the #163;30,000 bike scheme was set up to promote students' independence. ib.

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