The City of Copenhagen has now spent over 1.2 million kroner on organising 70 free bicycle-repair events, reports Jyllands-Posten.
As part of its green strategy to get Copenhageners on their bikes more often, the City Council has organised up to 70 bicycle-service events in some of its most affluent neighbourhoods, including Nordhavn, Sluseholmen and Amager Strand. At these events, local citizens are invited to get their bicycles fixed professionally completely for free.
Only 250,000 kroner of the budget has been paid to a bicycle service company Cykelven, while communications agency Rostra has received 950,000 kroner to run the events and collect data.
The deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, Morten Kabell from Enhedslisten, is a big fan of the project.
"It works. And it is the city's responsibility to support our traffic policy and to get more people on bicycles," he told Jyllands-Posten.
"It shows that one of the main reasons people don't use their bicycles so often is that they haven't been able to take them to a service shop and get them fixed."
Kabell explained that targeting affluent areas was deliberate.
"It's about going to places where people use bicycles the least, yet where the potential for improvement is the greatest," he explained.
"Our expert assessments suggested that it's precisely in these areas."
Not council's responsibility
However, other councillors were not convinced, calling the initiative "frivolous" and one that could lead to an "infinite expansion of the public sector".
"It is not the council's responsibility to patch bicycles," Venstre politician Jens-Kristian Lütken told Jyllands-Posten.
"It's a task for bicycle servicemen, and they are losing profits here. There is probably no other place in the country where you'd think it is a council's problem that citizens have to travel two kilometres to the nearest bicycle service-shop."