Cycling UK has been awarded an extra £1 million of funding from the Department of Transport to extend the Big Bike Revival into schools in England for the first time.
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 on the launch of Bike to School Week, 28th September to 2nd October, as children up and down the country are 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 restart 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 equates for around 3% 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.”
Cycling and walking minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “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!”
Read the September issue of BikeBiz below: