Cost of living: Demand for bike repairs 'goes through roof' amid rising fuel prices

·2-min read

At the Gloucestershire Bike Project, the racks are full and technicians are busy changing tyres and greasing chains.

Manager Maureen Parker says in the last few weeks, demand for servicing has gone through the roof.

"We're seeing more people coming in and saying 'I need to make sure my bike is in good working order, I haven't used it for four years, but with the cost of fuel, I'm going to need to use it more now'."

The rising price of fuel is forcing many to switch from four wheels to two.

It's also increasing demand at the Gloucestershire shop from those needing help.

"We run a variety of projects through the year to help people struggling financially to get a bike so they can use that for transport, day to day stuff and for employment," says Maureen.

"What we have seen this year - and particularly in the last three months - is we're getting probably four to five times the number of requests. We get a lot of requests anyway, but the people we're getting them from, we're seeing more people who are in work on low incomes than we are from people out of work on low incomes."

"I would say in an average year we get requests for about 50 or 60 bikes. So far this year, we've had requests for over 200 bikes."

'It's getting ridiculous'

A few miles outside the city, we meet up with home carer Rachael Alice Hughes during her 12-hour shift.

Her car is literally a lifeline for her clients - but keeping it on the road is becoming difficult.

"It's definitely something I've noticed," says Rachael.

"I filled up only yesterday and it was a £77 for a whole tank of fuel.

"I can remember a couple of years back when it was £35 so obviously when you're driving your car 300 miles a week to visit clients, to go and support them in their own home, that all really adds up as it's quite a lot of miles."

As Rachael continues her rounds - down the road there's anger at the petrol station.

"It is getting ridiculous," says driver Helen.

"What with the rising cost of everything else as well, it's just a nightmare. Some of the stories I've been hearing is people paying to go to work."

Jack uses his car for work - but is thinking he may ditch it for a bike.

He tells Sky News: "It used to cost me around £50-£60 to fill this car, now it's about £90-95. I've thought about riding my bike to work instead, so that's an option."

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