Thanks to £15,000 funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) we are extending our Bikeability Recycled scheme and also offering two new forms of Bikeability cycle safety training ‘Learn to ride’ and ‘Fix’.
In January, South Gloucestershire’s Road Safety team received funding from the DfT to implement a pilot scheme called Bikeability Recycled, which saw used and unwanted bikes refurbished and made roadworthy, before being redistributed to people in the community. The scheme proved very popular, with 50 bicycles recycled over three months.
The road safety team have now received an additional £15,000 funding which will enable Bikeability Recycled to run until the end of August, and the team are now applying for further funding to continue the scheme over the next four years.
Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment lead member Cllr Colin Hunt said: “We’re delighted to receive this additional funding which enables us to continue our bicycle recycling scheme as well as offering new forms of safety training. By refurbishing and redistributing these bikes to local school pupils we are hoping that more people take part in our cycle training.
“We have seen a huge increase in cycling in South Gloucestershire and it is important that young people are taught to cycle safely and with consideration for other road users.”
Bikeability Recycled sees the road safety team collecting used and unwanted bikes from local schools and with the support of SUEZ, the council’s waste and recycling contractor, from Sort It recycling centres. Qualified bike mechanics within the council’s cycle training team then refurbish and make the bikes roadworthy, before they are redistributed through schools to people in the community without access to one. By providing families with better access to bikes, it is hoped more children will take part in Bikeability training and make cycling part of their life.
As well as Bikeability Recycled, thanks to this funding the full range of Bikeability training in South Gloucestershire will now include:
• Learn to ride – basic cycling skills and road safety
• Balance – cycle training for reception class pupils
• Ride – community rides to local facilities such as libraries etc
• Transition – accompanied rides from primary school to pupils’ new secondary schools
• Fix – basic maintenance such as puncture repairs etc taught by mechanics
• Promotion – opportunity to try training outside of the Bikeability structure, such as at parents’ evenings where parents can ask trainers any questions directly.
The Chapple family from Kingswood participated in the Bikeability Learn to ride pilot scheme earlier this year and the whole family’s lifestyle has been transformed now that 8-year-old Chloe has learned how to cycle. They now go on family cycle rides together on weekends and say that spending time together being active outdoors has improved their overall wellbeing. Chloe’s mum said: “We have been cycling together as a family now, riding on the roads and on the cycle path discovering new places we had never been to before. We plan our route using online maps and are planning on going to the two tunnels in Bath next. It has been a fun experience for the whole family, giving us different things to do at the weekends.”
Chloe said: “I do prefer riding on the cycle paths as they are wider and there are no cars, but I am looking forward to doing my Bikeability level 2 at school on roads. On a recent weekend I rode to a local pub and had cheesy chips, it was the best day ever and I managed to overtake my sister.”
There are a number of free Bikeability courses available over the summer school holidays, taking place in Bradley Stoke, Downend and Chipping Sodbury. Courses begin at the end of July, for more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/roadsafety or to book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Bikeability visit http://bikeability.org.uk/