Chiltern Railways x The Bike Project

Chiltern Railways donates abandoned bicycles to refugees as part of The Bike Project scheme

Chiltern Railways have begun the process of donating abandoned bicycles left at stations to The Bike Project – a community of enthusiasts who repair second-hand bikes and then donate them to refugees.  

Starting with London Marylebone station and gradually moving onto more stations in the coming months, bicycles in working order will be donated to The Bike Project, who work tirelessly to support refugees adjusting to a new environment through providing cheap and sustainable transport.  

Their permanent donation hubs are in London and Birmingham. With a pop-up donation centre also in Oxford, these bicycles are directly benefitting some of the local communities that Chiltern Railways serves. Almost a quarter of bicycles donated are to those aged 16 or under, allowing for environmentally friendly travel to and from school. 

Electronic sensors in bicycle racks at Chiltern Railways stations sends information on the duration a bicycle has been parked in a bay. If bicycles have been parked and unremoved for a prolonged period, a further four-week notification period is given to passengers to claim their bicycles and a removal notice is attached.  

A photo is taken of the bicycle and removal notice, identifying details are recorded and the tag ID (if present) is checked. If it is not claimed, it is classed as abandoned property and eligible for removal. This is clearly stated on removal notices. 

This also creates space at Chiltern Railways stations for bicycles that are in use, providing more customers with the opportunity to take advantage of the facility at stations and travel sustainably.  

Collection points such as Chiltern’s have been a vital part of the growth of The Bike Project. Removing abandoned and discarded bikes from train stations, hospitals and universities and giving them a new home has enabled them to collect and donate over 9,700 bikes since 2013.  

Eleni Jordan, Commercial & Customer Strategy Director for Chiltern Railways, said: 

“We are proud to be partnering with The Bike Project and donating these bicycles to such an excellent cause. Abandoned bicycles take up space at our stations for those who need to use the facilities. If a bicycle needs to be removed and is in working order, The Bike Project will ensure it reaches a good home. We want to play our part in promoting sustainable travel, and this initiative allows us to free up much-needed space while supporting those in need.” 

Jem Stein, CEO of The Bike Project, said: 

"Thank you so much to Chiltern Railways for your support. At The Bike Project, our mission is to match as many refugees and asylum seekers with abandoned bikes as we can. 

People navigating the complex asylum process are not allowed to work and must survive on £40.85 a week. For refugees and asylum seekers, a bike can provide access to vital services such as food banks and healthcare, as well as improving mental and physical health and reducing social isolation. 

The abandoned bikes collected from Marylebone Station are now being refurbished in our workshop, soon to be donated to refugees and asylum seekers on our wait list.” 

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Notes to editors

About Chiltern

  • Chiltern Railways is part of the Arriva group, one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe, employing 53,000 people and delivering 2 billion passenger journeys a year across 14 European countries. Arriva are part of Deutsche Bahn (DB), one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies, responsible for DB's passenger transport services outside Germany.
  • Chiltern operates commuter/regional rail passenger services from its Central London terminus at London Marylebone along the M40 corridor to destinations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, as well as long-distance services to the West Midlands along two routes. Services on the Chiltern Main Line run from London Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford, with some peak-hour services to Kidderminster.
  • Chiltern also runs trains on the London to Aylesbury Line to Aylesbury (with some trains terminating at Aylesbury Vale Parkway instead), on the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury and Oxford to Bicester branch lines.