15/06/2020

University students ‘saddle up’ for September return to campus thanks to innovative bike loan scheme

The University of Bolton has bought 1,000 bicycles for students to use when the campus reopens in September.

The innovative Student Bike Loan Scheme will enable anyone who wants to commute to and from the University by bicycle to do so.

It is one of a wide range measures implemented by the University of Bolton to make the campus Covid-19 secure for staff and students in the autumn.

One thousand bikes and safety helmets have initially been ordered from Halfords and the University’s President and Vice Chancellor, Professor George E Holmes DL, said more would be bought if required.

Prof Holmes said: “From September students will have access to a fully operational, Covid-secure, University campus and be able to study and engage in person with other students and staff thanks to the actions we have taken during this pandemic,.

“We felt that a further logical measure was to give all students the opportunity to access bicycles to use for their commute on a loan basis.

“It means they will be able to travel to and from University and between campuses, avoiding the need to use public transport where they may have legitimate concerns about the spread of the virus.

“Cycling also has added health benefits for students, as well as helping to protect the environment. More bicycle use aligns with Greater Manchester’s strategy to increase the numbers of people cycling.”

Prof Holmes added: “We believe the Student Bike Loan Scheme will be an added bonus for new students starting in September or for those returning to their studies.”

There are also plans to provide ‘refresher’ cycle sessions for any students who want them.

An animated video has been produced starring cartoon character ‘LearnED the Owl’, who is featured in the short film riding a bicycle. It outlines in detail how the campus will be made Covid-19 secure in time for the new academic year.

Prof Holmes said: “The University of Bolton is well ahead of the game in transforming its campus to create a place where our students feel safe and happy.

“The University student experience is not just about learning. Students want to see their friends in person, they want to engage with their tutors.”

The animated video outlining the University of Bolton safety measures and showing ‘LearnED the Owl’ cycling to University, can be watched at: https://youtu.be/yJKuGwVls7M

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