Schools welcome Big Bike Revival as Cycling UK continues support for family riding
Cycling UK has been awarded an extra £1m of funding from the Department of Transport to extend the Big Bike Revival into schools in England for the first time, enabling future generations to get into the cycling habit at an early age.
The Big Bike Revival in England has already helped thousands of adults to start or get back into cycling as a safe way to travel this summer, and can swiftly scale up its work with the Bikeability Trust to support children to be able to complete cycle training on safe, roadworthy bikes.
The funding will enable pop up bike mechanic stations to set up in schools to help fix bikes for around 10,000 children so they are ready to cycle. The work in schools will mean that those from age five upwards will be encouraged to discover the joy of cycling, complement Big Bike Revival delivery in workplaces and at other community settings, where families will also be supported to cycle together.
The announcement comes as Bike to School Week (September 28-October 2) launches with children up and down the country being encouraged to ride to school to stay fit and to help reduce the number of cars on the school run.
With many school pupils having missed Bikeability training due to the extended closure of schools, school leaders are keen to see cycling training re-start after the October half term. Cycling UK will help to ensure bikes are safe and roadworthy, meaning time will be saved allowing Bikeability instructors to focus on teaching the skills enabling pupils to be confident on a bicycle.
Jenny Box, Cycling UK’s head of behaviour change in England said: “We know that cycling accounts for around 3 percent of journeys to and from school in England, whereas in the Netherlands around a third of children regularly cycle to school. We need to grasp the opportunity to change that.
“The last six months have been hugely disruptive for everyone, including children who have only recently begun returning to a very different learning environment after months of being educated at home. By extending the Big Bike Revival into schools, we can ensure that thousands of children can resume cycle training, which really is a skill for life. Cycling is one of the best ways to get around particularly during lockdown and let’s not forget, is also great fun.”
This funding...will help children get their bikes ready to roll - so they can start their day healthy and happy.
Chris Heaton-Harris MP
Cycling and Walking Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Cycling and walking is good for people and the planet’s health, so we want half of all journeys being cycled or walked by 2030. To do that, we must encourage young people to see cycling and walking as normal as getting the bus or train.
“This funding will support schools and local communities to get more children walking to school and set up bike surgeries that will help children get their bikes ready to roll - so they can start their day healthy and happy!”
Since May, more than 3,500 bikes have been fixed thanks to the Big Bike Revival, and more than 150 partners are delivering Dr Bikes in locations across England thanks to Department of Transport funding. Dr Bike sessions are being run in communities for everyone and in workplaces for employees and ensure qualified mechanics deliver a bike safety check and can get basic repairs carried out for free.
Working in schools will enable the national cycling charity to reach new geographic areas and extend the opportunity for more people to choose to use the bicycle for short journeys.
The Bikeability Trust and Cycling UK are also hoping to work outside schools, with the Trust planning to launch more than 2,000 Family Bikeability courses in the coming months. The BBR programme which has been running for six years has an established network of partners who can help to provide community settings to support around half of the total number of these courses to be delivered.
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. For more information about the Big Bike Revival see www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival
Press contact information
For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07785 381648 or email email@example.com