Double funding so every 10-year-old can learn to ride a bike

Only three percent of pupils aged 11-16 cycle to school. Photo Julie Skelton / Cycling UK
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Double funding so every 10-year-old can learn to ride a bike

Cycling UK is calling on the Government to increase funding for cycle training, known as Bikeability, so that all Year 6 students in England can have the opportunity “to develop a lifelong skill that would be good for their health, and also the environment.”
  • Charity calls on Government to increase £13m Bikeability funding
  • Cost of training is one off £18 per head investment to learn “lifelong skill”
  • Currently 3% of children aged 11-16 cycle to school
  • According to NHS report a third of Year 6 pupils are overweight or obese

The appeal comes on the back of a Government announcement made today (October, 11) that it would invest £13m into Bikeability for the following year so 50% of English primary schools can continue to provide cycle training. This is an incremental increase on funding for Bikeability which in 2018/19 was £12.5m.

James Scott, Cycling UK’s Director of Behaviour Change said:

“Bikeability is a great scheme, helping thousands of children to learn to cycle with confidence, but with austerity meant to be officially over, now would have been the time to turn on the funding taps so every child in England can learn how to cycle, not just 50% of them.

“Investing just £18 in each Year 6 student would give every young person the opportunity to develop a lifelong skill that would be good for their health, and also the environment.”

The charity says it costs £18.33 per head for a pupil to reach Bikeability Level 2, which equips pupils with the skills to negotiate quiet single carriage roads and simple junctions. If the Government doubled the level of funding, every single one of the 1,364,179 10 to 11 year olds would have the opportunity to learn how to cycle with more confidence. 

With only three percent of 11-16 year olds regularly cycling to school, the Government set out its ambition for “A world in which a 12 year old can cycle, and walk, safely” in its ‘Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Safety Review’. 

Cycling UK says making Bikeability available to all Year 6 students is an important step to achieving the Government’s vision. The charity however warns further investment is necessary to provide the next generation of cyclists with the skills to ride safely on busier roads and at roundabouts, which is provided by Bikeability Level 3.

ENDS

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. National Child Measurement Programme, England 2018/19 School Year [NS] has found 34.3% of Year 6 students in England are overweight or obese: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-child-measurement-programme/2018-19-school-year
  3. Estimates by the Office of National Statistics show there are 1,364,179 young people aged 10 and 11 in England.
  4. The National Travel Survey for England calculates 3% of 11-16 year olds cycle to school.  
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