City repairing punctures for free
To get more Copenhageners into the saddle, the City Council is now offering some residents a free bicycle repair service
You would think it was enough that around 60 percent of all Copenhageners take the bike to and from work or school every day, but the numbers don't appear to impress the City Council.
The Technical and Environmental Committee now offers to send a bicycle repairer to housing associations located in the outer parts of town where people tend to take the car to work. The repairer will fix the residents' bikes and repair a puncture free of charge, so there won't be any more excuses for leaving the bike in the garage.
Waste of tax money
However, not all council members applaud the initiative.
"It's a strange thing to spend tax money on. Repairing punctures is not one of the city's central services. That money could have been spent more wisely in other areas like education and the elderly. I don't believe the campaign will get more people to cycle," Kristian Lütken, a council member for Venstre, told Metroxpress.
Bikes don’t pollute
The criticism had no effect on Enhedslisten's Morten Kabell, the deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs.
"Of course it isn't one of the city's central services to repair punctures," he told Metroxpress.
"However, it's our responsibility to ensure clean air for Copenhageners and maintain their health. And here it would help, if more people leave the car and take the bike instead."
The bike repair project is part of a larger scheme aimed at reducing car traffic in the city. Five million kroner was set aside for the project between 2012 and 2015.
It focuses on areas in and around Amerika Plads, Sydhavnen, Ørestaden, Havnestaden, Havneholmen and Amager Strand, where there are believed to be a shortage of bike repair shops.