A RAIL operator has donated abandoned bikes to community cycle workshops.

Southern Railway - run by Govia Thameslink Railway - has given over 50 bikes that were left at Sussex train stations to Brighton Bike Hub, which works to help people access affordable cycling.

Cranks in Chapel Street, Kemptown - a do it yourself bicycle workshop -has also received bikes as part of the donation.

Southern delivered 27 bikes to each workshop this week.

Southern collects a steady stream of bikes abandoned at stations, many in surprisingly good condition. The bikes are held for at least two months for the owners to retrieve.

The rail company picked out the machines in the best condition from all those abandoned on the West Coastway route between Portsmouth and Brighton over the past few months.

Charities in Chichester and Newhaven have also received sizeable donations.

Al Bailey from Cranks said: "The donations really help keep organisations like us running and enable us to help as many people from different walks of life as possible.

"We have already been busy repairing and stripping them for all the useful parts and they have gotten plenty of cyclists back on the road.

The Argus: Cranks - Al Bailey, Liam Thomas, Natalie Parker, James FallickCranks - Al Bailey, Liam Thomas, Natalie Parker, James Fallick

"Two bikes have already been sold, and the money has gone back into the project.

"Another was given to an NHS organisation helping people to move forward in healthy pathways, and the rest are definitely destined for good things."

Southern has now established several partnerships with NHS trusts, councils, charities and community bike recycling schemes to find new owners for the abandoned machines.

Chris Fowler, customer services director for Southern, said: "It's fantastic to be working with all our partners to promote healthy, green transport by extending the life of previously unwanted bikes.

"Brighton's community workshops can ensure these bikes are made roadworthy and find deserving new owners.

"By encouraging young people to cycle and look after their bikes, we are creating lasting benefits for their future.

"At this challenging time, we're proud to help keep Britain moving safely and sustainably. We're building strong local partnerships right across our network to help communities recover and prosper."

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