Cyclists benefit from repairs and assistance in the heart of the town centre as part of an initiative that was launched recently.

The Dr Bike sessions are a new initiative to help cyclists in Reading that began last month.

The sessions are being held by Reading Borough Council and Avanti Cycling, which provides cycle training programmes.

Andy Von Glehn, a freelance cycling instructor at Avanti said: “People bring their bikes we give them advice on where they can take them for repairs and make sure they are in reasonable condition so they are safe for the road.

“If people have their bikes in the shed and they don’t use them they bring them to us to survey to make sure they are ready for use.”

The public cycle repairs have been introduced in the context of a blow for the council’s Cycle Hub project.

The council was hoping to establish a town centre cycle hub in West Street where cyclists could park their bikes, hire bikes for short trips and get repairs.

The hub was meant to provide 82 secure cycle parking spaces, a bike loan and donation scheme and a repair and advice service provided by volunteer group Reading Bicycle Kitchen.

Although plans for the hub were approved in November 2022, Primark, which owns the unit the Cycle Hub would have occupied, informed the council that it had withdrawn its lease offer to the council in September last year.

It has been stressed that the cycle repair station in Broad Street is an entirely separate initiative from the Cycle Hub.

Mr Von Glehn said: “This is an extra service which the council wants to provide, to make sure that people have access to good cycling repair.”

The project has funding for a year. The team has a gazebo as a shield if it rains.

The Dr Bike session was observed by the Local Democracy Reporting Service yesterday (Thursday, April 4).

A sizeable queue of cyclists had gathered to get bike checkups and speak with the team.

James Turner senior transport planner, said: “This is part of our capability behavioural change programme, there are a wide range of programmes, we’ve got an active travel officer, we’ve got various schemes doing free bicycling training and maintenance workshops, and this is one part of that.”

He added that additional Dr Bike sessions could be held over the summer holidays if there is demand.

Reading Bicycle Kitchen has operated for around 10 years and has a permanent base at Unit C10 in Weldale Street, with a repair and advice service running from 10am to 2pm every Saturday.

Avanti Cycles and the council work closely with the Bicycle Kitchen.