A charity has raised more than £5,000 from selling bicycles which have been abandoned in Brighton and Hove.
Sussex Central YMCA refurbishes the abandoned bikes before selling them and raised the £5,000 between April and July this year.
The bikes were donated to the charity by Brighton and Hove City Council which has removed more than 500 abandoned bikes since April last year.
The council said that its Highway Enforcement Team took 1,174 reports of bikes left chained to racks and other street furniture last year.
It said: “These bikes can quickly deteriorate causing an unsightly obstruction on the public highway.
“The bikes are ticketed with a 14-day notice asking the owners to contact the council to claim the bike.
“If after 14 days the bikes are not claimed then they are added to a list for removals that are carried out every five to six weeks.
“Between April 2012 and March 2013 the council removed 411 bikes. Since April 2013 107 bikes have been removed.
“Removing these bikes not only helps free up valuable parking spaces but also benefits a local charity.
“All removed bikes are handed over to Sussex Central YMCA free of charge.
“Sussex Central YMCA is a charity that works to support children, young people and families in the local community.
“Sussex Central YMCA refurbishes the donated bikes at their recycling and retail site in Mile Oak to get them road ready again.
“Once the bikes are tested they are put up for sale to generate income for the charity. Between April and July this year the bike sales raised over £5,000.”
Sussex Central YMCA’s warehouse operations manager Juliette Beesley said: “Thanks to this arrangement with the council we are able to sell safe, road ready bikes at great prices.
“And the money we make allows us to continue providing help to those who need it the most.
“In addition to this we also help reduce landfill waste by recycling all bikes which we are unable to resell as scrap metal thus generating a further income for the charity.”
Councillor Ian Davey said: “This is a really brilliant scheme which, alongside training for young people provides affordable, reliable secondhand bikes which will encourage more people to cycle and also provides new opportunities while reducing waste.”
The council added: “This arrangement with the council also allows Sussex Central YMCA to deliver an alternative education course called Build a Bike.
“Build a Bike is a practical course offered as part of an alternative education programme to young people who may be at risk or have become disengaged from mainstream education.
“This course offers 11 to 18 year olds a chance to get practical skills and also earn an accredited award. “
Sussex Central YMCA sells the bikes at its Chalkpit Home Store at 285 Mile Oak Road, Portslade.
The store is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.
The bikes sell fast. To check if there any in stock, call 01273 885550.
To report an abandoned bike, call 01273 292929
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