Bicycle Association hails Government investment in Bikeability
April 9, 2021
Funding is crucial step in helping more families to cycle confidently
9 April 2021–The Bicycle Association (BA) welcomes the news that Bikeability training has received an increased £18m funding commitment from the Department for Transport. This funding confirms the Government’s intention that by 2025 Bikeability will be fully funded to allow every child in England to learn to ride their bikes safely and well.
As the voice of the cycling industry in the UK, the Bicycle Association has worked closely with Government, the DfT and other cycling organisations over many years to ensure that the vital role of Bikeability is understood at all levels.
Bikeability is the Department for Transport’s national cycle training programme. It teaches young people the basic skills that help them to ride safely and enjoyably. These skills are invaluable where people increasingly rely on active travel for mobility, and Bikeability training equips young riders with the tools to enjoy a lifetime of cycling, and the benefits that a healthy and active lifestyle brings.
“The announcement of full funding for the Bikeability programme is the result of many years of advocacy effort, in which the Bicycle Association, on behalf of the UK cycle industry, has played a prominent role,” says BA Executive Director Steve Garidis. “It is thanks to the support of BA member companies who contribute to the BA’s advocacy work that the BA team was able to dedicate the sustained lobbying effort that helped achieve this result.”
The timing of this announcement is particularly welcome now, as industry data gathered by the Bicycle Association shows that in the second quarter of 2020 the number of children’s bikes sold was a remarkable 35% higher than in recent years, and across the year just over 1 million children’s bikes were sold. During the COVID lockdowns, many families have rediscovered the joys of cycling, and this funding boost to the availability of Bikeability training across the population is an excellent building block for this uplift in cycling to be sustained even as restrictions lift.
Key dates in BA’s advocacy engagement:
Election manifesto committments in place for all main political parties to support cycling, including key BA advocacy asks such as full funding for Bikeability..
BA meets one-to-one with the Minister responsible for cycling as the Conservative election manifesto was being written, successfully makes the case for Bikeability roll-out.
BA joins partners in the Walking and Cycling Alliance in calling for cycle training access for all children in “Moving the Nation”
BA-commissioned research identifies alarming trends in child cycling including lack of access and BA sets out “Industry Manifesto” calling for Bikeability cycle training for all children. “Children, the cyclists and consumers of the future, have less access to cycling than ever before. Fewer than half of all primary school children receive Bikeability training.”
Bicycle Industry Fund launched to support BA advocacy work. “Bringing cycling to every child” is a key industry advocacy priority.
The BA-administered Bike Hub industry advocacy fund contributes vital seed funding for TABS (The Association of Bikeability Schemes)