A free adult cycle training scheme has been shown to help tackle transport and health inequalities across West Yorkshire, with more than a quarter of participants (27%) living in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country.
More than 1,860 people have benefitted from the free training, which was delivered as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike and on foot.
Of these, 450 people, including jobseekers and apprentices, also received a bike through the scheme, with two thirds (66%) of these recipients living in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Nearly 60% of attendees now cycle more often, rising to nearly 80% for people who also received a bike through the scheme.
Participants were also found to be more likely to cycle regularly than the average West Yorkshire resident, with almost two-thirds (65%) of the people who received a bike as well as training now cycling at least once a week and more than half (56%) of those who did not receive a bike cycling at least once a week.
Councillor Kim Groves, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Cycling can open up new work, training and educational opportunities for people by providing an affordable, convenient travel option. The numbers speak for themselves. We know our work is helping tackle transport and health inequalities where it matters most, ensuring all our residents, regardless of age, ability or circumstance, can access more opportunities.
“Encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only saves individuals money and boosts people’s health, but it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking short, everyday journeys a viable option for everyone across West Yorkshire.”