Cycle training for children and families has received a record investment as the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed £20 million of funding for Bikeability to deliver its cycle training programme next year.
Bikeability has trained over 3.6 million children since 2007 and DfT has now announced record funding to ensure even more are equipped with the skills, confidence and knowledge to cycle on our roads and have the opportunity to gain other essential life skills.
This funding has the potential to deliver half a million training places for children and their families, supporting even more people to introduce active travel into their everyday lives.
The Bikeability Trust is continuing to offer bursaries for those wanting to join the industry, boosting the number of Bikeability instructors, which is important to ensure every child who wants it can be trained.
This comes as the industry gathered last week for the Bikeability annual conference today, at which Minister Trudy Harrison delivered the keynote speech.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Active Travel Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Cycling helps both our planet and our wellbeing, and learning to cycle is also an important life skill. Our ambition is for every child to be able to access Bikeability training and I’m delighted we’ve been able to invest a record £20 million to help make this a reality.”
Emily Cherry, CEO at the Bikeability Trust, said: “We have already trained more than 3.6 million children how to cycle confidently and safely. This record investment will help us to achieve our ambition of offering every child cycle training.
“Bikeability teaches children an essential life skill that benefits their health and helps them make more sustainable travel choices. Getting children cycling when they’re young embeds active habits for life, gives them the independence to travel to school and, most importantly, helps them discover how fun cycling is.”
The government wants more parents and pupils to choose cycling for the school run and other everyday journeys, as it looks to decarbonise the transport network and build back greener from COVID-19.
The ambition is for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030 and DfT is allocating an unprecedented £2 billion over 5 years to deliver that ambition.
This all comes as DfT recently launched Active Travel England, the Executive Agency tasked with driving up the quality of cycling and walking routes, led by former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.