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Wheels to Work Expands

Shropshire is the latest UK county to adopt a Wheels to Work (W2W) scheme, offering cheap moped and 125cc scooter hire to younger riders. There are currently 22 such schemes across the UK, all of them aimed at younger riders who could not otherwise afford personal transport. Shropshire’s Community Resource charity has contracted Wheels to Work Silverstone to administer the scheme, which offers moped hire from £40 a week and 125s from £55.

Based at Silverstone race circuit, W2W Silverstone has been supplying bikes and administration for similar W2W schemes since 2019, and currently runs schemes in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Berkshire, as well as Shropshire. They have a particular role in the more rural counties, where public transport is sparse and commuting to work or college can prove a challenge, especially for younger people.

Julia Baron, Chief Executive of Community Resource, said: “Wheels to Work Silverstone has a large fleet and extensive experience in motorcycle and moped hire and is best placed to support Shropshire clients in the long-term. Their involvement will ensure that a lack of transport isn’t a barrier to finding employment for people in Shropshire.”

The W2W Silverstone deal is typical, with the hire cost covering maintenance and third-party insurance, though there is a mileage limit of 750 per month and delivery/courier work is excluded. Riders have to sign up for a minimum of four months hire.

Wheels to Work schemes are non-profit making, reinvesting any income, and many are organised as CICs (Community Interest Companies). The last decade has seen several schemes close, thanks to cuts in local authority funding, but there does appear to be something of a revival now, with both W2W Southwest (profiled in the BMF magazine Motorcycle Rider in Autumn 2021) and W2W Silverstone currently expanding.

BMF Chair Jim Freeman said: ‘The BMF have always supported the Wheels to Work scheme, as a practical way to help people, particularly in rural areas, get back to work, reaching jobs that the public transport network doesn’t cover.’

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Wheels to Work