CHARITY Isle Access has purchased a fleet of adapted bikes, thanks to grants from the Island Roads Foundation and Wight Aid.

Wight Aid granted £2,160 for the purchase of a three-wheeled recumbent bike that allows people with poor balance to ride — which is already proving popular.

The rest of the fleet was purchased with a £16,000 grant from the Island Roads Foundation, including a bike to transport people in a wheelchair, and a double hand cycle.

Chief executive of Isle Access, Jan Brookes, said: “The bikes are a fantastic opportunity for people who have difficulty riding conventional bikes to try cycling with family and friends.

“We are seeing people riding who have never been able to ride a bike before.

“One young person with poor coordination and a fear of cycles was, with help from our volunteer, able to master the adapted tricycle, which brought tears to his mother’s eyes.

"We cannot thank Wight Aid and the Island Roads Foundation enough for their generous grants.

"Over the next few months we will be developing a programme of regular cycling sessions, as well as allowing other organisations to hire the bikes."

Stephen Ashman, Island Roads' service director, said: “The aim of our foundation is to tackle social exclusion on the Island by helping everyone find a place and a role so they feel valued in society.

“Giving people the opportunity to enjoy cycling and the wonderful cycling routes on the Island is a great way of achieving that.

"We work closely with Isle Access and were delighted to help them with their project.”