BIKES and mopeds could soon be made available to people living in rural areas who struggle to get to work and school.

Worcestershire County Council's cabinet has agreed to look into restarting a 'Wheels to Work' scheme which would help people in the county who do not have access to public transport or a car reach work, school and other essential services.

A report will look at whether a rental scheme for bikes, electronic bikes and mopeds could work in Worcestershire with cabinet then deciding whether to push ahead with the scheme.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “We recognise that about 15 per cent of the population in Worcestershire live in rural areas and in consequence those that don’t have access to a car would need something of this nature or could find this useful.

“We recognise it is done elsewhere, particularly Staffordshire, and in consequence it is certainly worth us looking at this to see whether it could work here.

“We did have a scheme here once which used mopeds. This current one will look at bikes, e-bikes and mopeds and the business case will come back to see which might be the most sensible to do.

“We are also not saying this is something the council will run but this again will be covered by the report.”

Cllr Alan Amos, cabinet member for highways, said the scheme would be "good for everybody" if it went ahead.

“If this scheme were to go ahead, it would be good for the community, it would be good particularly for commuters and for young people in particular," he said.

“In fact, it’s good for everybody who wants to remain economically active or socially people who just want to get out and about.”

Green councillor Matthew Jenkins, who helped lead the call to reintroduce the scheme in July, told the council's cabinet at a meeting on Thursday (November 19): “I’m really pleased that the feasibility of this will be looked at and I’m hopeful that this will form the start of a shift towards active travel.

“Targeting young people to use bikes and e-bikes will be a real gamechanger and I think that once they start using them I think they might find that they might continue to use them and it’s actually cost-effective. Running a car is actually quite expensive and will get more expensive over the coming years.

“Let’s just hope that all the benefits that come back are not just monetary but all the benefits you get from just being out-and-about and riding in the fresh air.”