No more barriers in Bo’ness

A sight soon to be seen in Bo'ness? Trishaws already operate in the Falkirk area taking OAPs out  for trips.
A sight soon to be seen in Bo'ness? Trishaws already operate in the Falkirk area taking OAPs out for trips.

An initiative to help older people get out and about is being rolled out in Bo’ness.

Cycling Without Age offers free rides for pensioners, and those with mobility restrictions, on trishaws — specially adapted bikes, with double front passenger seats.

The scheme was originally launched in Copenhagen in 2012 and supporters say it allows housebound seniors to get the “wind in their hair” and enjoy fun cycle trips while chatting to volunteer cyclists or ‘pilots’ who ride the trishaws.

The scheme is now represented in 47 countries with more than 2,700 trishaws, 31,500 trained cycle pilots serving in excess of one million people.

A public meeting is being organised in St Mary’s Church, Bo’ness, next Thursday, February 20, from 6pm to encourage people to take part.

Christine Bell, from Cycling Without Age Scotland SCIO, will be the guest speaker.

Maria Ford, of the networking group Bo’net, said: “We’re really excited about bringing Cycling Without Age to Bo’ness.

“It can bring a new lease of life to elderly people who might struggle to walk along local paths, or get out and about.

“Thanks to funding from the Rediscovering Antonine Wall project – backed by the National Lottery – we’ve already purchased one trishaw, and are in the process of fundraising for a second one. These special bikes (which allow passenger access from a wheelchair or hoist) help people discover Roman areas like Kinneil Estate and the wonderful foreshore of Bo’ness.

“We’re now keen to hear from people wanting to use the service, or volunteer.”