School cycle lessons boost bike numbers in Derby

Cycling in the curriculum sees upturn in amount of people in the saddle
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In a drive to improve the health of children in the area, Derby city council introduced cycling lessons in schools in 2007.

Since then, the proportion of children riding into school has grown from 0.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent, the equivalent of 2,000 journeys every day, as reported by the BBC (which has a video report on the subject).

In April this year Derby City Council decided to incorporate Cycle Derby – the project previously paid through central government funding as part of the Cycling Town project – bringing it within its mainstream services.

The now-ended Cycling Towns experiment ran across 17 towns and one city (Bristol). It was designed to discover whether raising funding for cycling to European levels impacts on the level of cycling.

Government research revealed that cycling increased 27 per cent in the Cycling Towns, bucking a general overall downward trend in cycling levels outside London. Department for Transport studies on the Cycling Towns experiment found that investment in cycling was hugely cost effect, finding that for every £1 spent, £3 was saved.

Cycle Derby operates a number of cycle activities, from curriculum-time cycling, family rides, Bikeability and after-school cycle clubs.

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