Levy funded bike-to-school scheme gets £800k gov grant

The Sustrans-managed Bike It scheme has received £800,000 over three years from Cycling England via the Department for Transport to work in and around the recently announced cycling demonstration towns of Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter, and Lancaster. Bike It was seed-funded by the Bike Hub levy scheme. Bike shops and bike suppliers pay into this scheme, with the notable exception of Halfords.
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Bike It was started in 2004 and has four officers around the UK, charged with getting more schools into a cycling mood.

The £800,000 grant will pay for Bike It officers for Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Exeter, and Lancaster. They will be in post by the end of March, with Darlington and Derby served by existing officers.

The Bike It scheme is already increasing the numbers of young cyclists at more than 40 schools across the country. In the first year of the project the overall number of pupils who cycled to school quadrupled from 2 per cent to 8 per cent of all school journeys. On average, one in five pupils at the Bike It schools cycle to school at least once a week and a third of the young people new to cycling were previously driven to school.

Paul Osborne, Sustrans' Safe Routes to Schools director, said: "Bike It officers will work closely with schools and local authorities in and around these towns to promote cycling to pupils.

"They will explain the benefits, promote cycle training to the new national standard, address concerns such as lack of secure cycle parking, and will organise practical events like regular cycle to school days or weeks."



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