Beijing bikes, not quite bespoke, all set to be peddled in Liverpool

11th January 2008 at 00:00
There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, sang pop-star Katie Melua. Until now, that is. The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool took delivery this week of the first of 400 Chinese second-hand bicycles, which pupils will be restoring and selling on this year.

"This ticks all the boxes for us," said Ursula Penarski, vice-principal of the academy, which specialises in the environment. "It's good for the environment, good for the health of the community and it teaches pupils about engineering and enterprise."

The bicycle project will allow about 20 pupils to develop engineering and enterprise skills by selling low-price bikes to the community.

The first bikes are likely to be sold to other pupils at cost price as the academy seeks to reduce its carbon emissions by getting pupils cycling to and from school.

Jade Crombie, a 14-year-old pupil who will be working on the project, said the skills would be useful to her when she left school.

But in the short-term, she was looking forward to buying one of the bikes herself so she could get to school more quickly in the morning.

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