Cycling UK has secured a £500,000 grant from the Department for Transport to again stage The Big Bike Revival. The 2018 event – run in England only – will be the fourth consecutive year for the annual "get your bike back on the road" event.
The Big Bike Revival promotes free cycle health checks, and gives maintenance advice and tips on how to get back into cycling.
Cycling UK said that last year’s event encouraged more than 6,000 people to become everyday cyclists, and that 18,570 ended up cycling more than they had before. The charity – formerly known as CTC, or the Cyclists' Touring Club – will hold key Big Bike Revival events across England in the eight "cycle cities": Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Norwich, Newcastle and Oxford.
Last year’s event resulted in 13,684 bikes being brought back into use, said Cycling UK. Events were held in 136 locations, with 37 percent of attendees coming from the most deprived areas of the country.
“The training and supported activities we provide gives participants confidence in riding their bikes, and undertaking their own trips by bicycle,” said a Cycling UK statement.
“We will look to build on last year’s successes by reaching even more people, particularly those in difficult to reach communities – in areas of social deprivation and ethnic minority groups.”
The charity's CEO Paul Tuohy highlighted that cycling can help reduce the huge health bill for obesity-related illnesses.
“Every year, the NHS spends around £5.1bn treating illnesses directly attributable to obesity – around £77 per person in the UK," he said.
“It’s incredible that for only £23 a person, we can get more people cycling and tackle a health crisis that’s costing the NHS billions of pounds every year.
He added: “The Big Bike Revival represents incredible value for money, and I’m delighted that the DfT has recognised the significance of the project by funding it for another year so we can get more people cycling every day."
Transport minister Jesse Norman said the £500,000 grant is part of an "additional" £7m funding pot for England's eight "cycling cities."
“Everyone should be able to take advantage of the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling,” said Norman. “This funding, as part of our overall cycling and walking strategy, will help local councils to make their roads safer for everyone.”