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Clarion Housing Group, Hadley Property Group and Brompton Bike Hire launch CYCLE 42, a new cycling initiative for Merton residents

Brompton Bike Hire is joining forces with Clarion Housing Group and Hadley Property Group to open CYCLE 42, the partners’ first ever pop-up cycle hub, offering 50 Brompton folding bicycles to Merton residents on a free 90-day trial basis from 19 March this year.

All three CYCLE 42 partners believe in the power of cycling to improve physical and mental health, and recognise its crucial role in making our communities more environmentally friendly. Inspired by Brompton’s Wheels For Heroes campaign, started in April 2020 to provide free cycle hire for NHS workers, this new initiative has been developed to help improve the mental and physical health of Merton residents.

The CYCLE 42 scheme is open to people who do not currently have a bike. Applications will be assessed using a set of needs-based criteria, with priority groups including keyworkers. Those not allocated a bike in the first round will be added to a waiting list and will be contacted when a bike becomes available.

Brompton found that a significant proportion of people who tried its Covid-19 response Wheels for Heroes campaign scheme went on to buy their own bicycle, demonstrating that allowing people to dip their toe into cycling for free is an important way to get more people using bikes.

Julian Scriven, Managing Director, Brompton Bike Hire, says:
“We are delighted that Hadley and Clarion have partnered with us to keep the Wheels For Heroes initiative going, and that we can support CYCLE 42 in Merton. These bikes were funded by charitable donations from the public, the places to ride fund and partially by Brompton Bicycle. From day one we have been insistent that the story shouldn’t end when Covid-19 is over. We will be using these bikes to create a change in people’s travel habits across the nation.”

Located on currently unused land at 42 Station Road in Colliers Wood, CYCLE 42 is a new community hub providing space for cycling, upcycling and recycling activities, including the new Brompton Bike Hire scheme. After registering online, the first 50 Merton residents will pick up their bikes from the hub during socially-distanced, bookable induction slots from 19-21 March. Thanks to Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, each participant will receive a helmet and high-vis vest, as well as an information pack covering cycle safety and FAQs.

After the 90-day free hire period, residents will be able to purchase a discounted refurbished bicycle from Hadley’s charitable partners The Bike Project, also based at 42 Station Road, who repair and upcycle second-hand bicycles, donating the majority to refugees and asylum seekers across London. The Brompton bicycles will then be redistributed to the next 50 Merton residents on the waiting list. The scheme at CYCLE 42 will run for 12 months, with the aim of enabling around 200 local residents to benefit.

Developer Hadley is currently in the process of preparing a planning submission to redevelop the site at Station Road. The development proposals include a number of sustainable transport initiatives, in line with its strong commitment to sustainability and to promoting the use of active and affordable travel in its development locations. These will include the provision of affordable cycle hire, a bike café, water fountains and information boards for cyclists and pedestrians, and generous resident and visitor bike parking.

Clarion Housing Group is the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing and owns and manages more than 9,700 homes across the London Borough of Merton, making this initiative one that will directly benefit many of its residents. Clarion and Hadley formed a strategic partnership in 2020 to deliver high-quality, mixed-use developments across London and in other major urban centres, with developments planned in Goodmayes and Streatham Vale.

Richard Cook, Group Director of Development at Clarion Housing Group, commented:
“At Clarion, we’re not just about bricks and mortar, but building thriving and vibrant communities. We have thousands of homes in Merton and are delighted to be working in partnership with Hadley and Brompton Bike Hire to launch a new initiative that will improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, through lockdown and beyond.”

Matt Griffiths-Rimmer, Director of Communications and Partnerships at Hadley Property Group, said:
“This piece of land has been standing unused, and we are really pleased to join forces with Clarion and Brompton Bike Hire to provide a service which makes such a positive difference to local residents, particularly at a time when good news is in short supply.

“CYCLE 42 will create a new hub of community activity on a site which was in real need of activating. It will be great to see more people trying out cycling, and hopefully this will help a significant amount of people to make a permanent switch away from cars for the majority of their journeys.

“We believe businesses have a responsibility to their neighbourhoods and the communities in which they work. Partnering with other organisations who also want to make positive change is a great reason for us all to get out of bed and go to work in the morning.”

Visit CYCLE 42's website to find out more and to register interest by 14 March.