Following three three-way pitches in November, BA president Phillip Darnton and two civil servants from the Department for Transport's communications directorate have chosen the PR/marketing, sponsorship and website building agencies charged with promoting Bike Hub and the Sustrans Schools/Skills project.

BA and DfT appoint Bike Hub agencies

The appointed PR/marketing agency is Circus of London, the agency which worked on Darnton’s draft marketing plan for cycling.

The website portal builder is RIMA:interactive, which produced the DfT’s Think! road-safety campaign website , but not the controversial Cyclesense website, the DfT-sponored site which used images of X-rayed skulls beneath helmets.

The agency charged with seeking £750 000 sponsorship for the national roll-out of the Schools/Skills project in 2005 – Bike Hub cash is paying for the 40 pilot projects – is bike-trade based but contracts have yet to be signed so no confirmation is possible at this time.

The 40 pilot projects in the Sustrans Schools/Skills project will be paid for via £250 000 from Bike Hub funds. The chosen primary schools will be given comprehensive ‘cycle-friendly makeovers’ to demonstrate that proactive support can led to a massive increase in children cycling to school, a buzz idea with the department’s of transport and health as it gets cars off the road and lowers childhood obesity at the same time.

At the chosen primary schools, children in years five and six will benefit from new cycle parking facilites; approved training programmes; safe routes to school coaching; traffic calming schemes and promotional support in school and the community.

Once the pilot projects have demonstrated what can be done with intensive, cycle-friendly support, there will be a national roll-out. The sponsorship agency is confident a three-year, £750 000 sponsorship deal can be tied up in advance of the 2005 roll-out.

Circus will charged with marketing all aspects of cycling, but under a unified banner. Key orgs such as CTC, Sustrans, British Cycling, CPAG and many others will be united by a cover-all slogan and have agreed to use the slogan on all their communications.

RIMA:interactive – in close consultation with Circus – will develop an overarching website portal for all aspects of cycling in the UK. This will go live in March 2004. BA president Phillip Darnton is hopeful that the DfT will stump up cash to promote the site in much the same way that Floodline is now so well known.

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