Sanford housing co-operative

Bike mechanics and cycling instructors turn a section of the bike shed into a workshop for free weekly maintenance
Bike mechanics and cycling instructors turn a section of the bike shed into a workshop for free weekly maintenance

About 140 people live in Sanford Co-operative in South London, which is already at the cutting-edge of energy-efficiency housing. To reduce carbon emissions further, the co-op aimed to promote cycling.

About 140 people live in Sanford Co-operative in South London, which is already at the cutting-edge of energy-efficiency housing. To reduce carbon emissions further, the co-op aimed to promote cycling. Although a storage area for up to 80 bikes – a stunning creation designed by a resident and made from recycled wooden railway sleepers with a roof garden – had been built, a lack of maintenance skills and worries about cycling on busy roads were identified as key barriers to cycling.

The Community Cycling Fund for London funded the training of five in-house bike mechanics and two cycling instructors, and provided tools to turn a section of the bike shed into a workshop where free weekly maintenance sessions are held. Gradually, those who've been trained in maintenance have transferred their skills to the most able, who in turn are helping out the less technically minded, until everyone has a well-maintained bicycle.

Cycle training takes place either informally, or residents can book on to a one-day training course. The long-term aim is for these bike maintenance and recycling skills to permeate out into the local area, not just within the co-op

Budget:

  • Spare parts & tools: £2,600
  • 6 mechanics: £800
  • 2 cycling instructors: £800
  • Admin: £435
  • Insurance: £220
  • Total: £4,855
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