Free adult cycle training scheme relaunches across West Yorkshire

Adults across West Yorkshire can again benefit from free cycle training sessions with qualified instructors, aimed at helping more people in the region choosing to travel by bike.

The scheme is being delivered as part of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme in partnership with local authorities.

It builds on the success of previous rounds of free adult cycle training offered through the programme since 2017. More than 2,000 people have already benefitted, with nearly 60% of attendees saying they cycled more often as a result.

This year’s sessions are open to all and see the addition of some new options. Improver level is for those who can ride competently but want to gain skills and confidence to ride alongside other road users. Two levels of bike maintenance training are also on offer for the first time – with a half-day Basic maintenance course or full-day Improver level option.

Advanced, one-to-one sessions return for those wanting to make regular journeys by bike, such as commuting to work or college. These sessions cover journey planning, cycling in traffic and tackling busy junctions and roundabouts, and are carried out on a route of choice.

Sessions are available at venues across the region to anyone aged 16 and over who lives or works in West Yorkshire. Bikes will be available for those without their own and social distancing and COVID-19 regulations will be in place.

Councillor Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Cycling is becoming ever more popular as a way or getting around West Yorkshire, but we know many people in our communities lack the confidence or support they needs to make more journeys by bike.

“This brilliant scheme is all about addressing these issues, and helping people realise that cycling is achievable for just about everyone – if they have the skills they need to get going. Increasing the number of journeys people choose to make by bike or on foot is at the heart of the Combined Authority’s vision for the future of travel in West Yorkshire.

“We also know that by helping people to cycle more often, we’ll be helping people to lead healthier, happier lives and create a cleaner more sustainable environment.”

Graham Creaton, general manager of Cycle North, added: “Cycle North are excited to be leading a consortium of local cycling activity providers who will be running loads of sessions, at all levels, all over West Yorkshire. We will be taking our first tentative pedals in quiet parks, zooming along cycle paths and greenways, and tackling city traffic in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.

“There are sessions where you can learn to ride from scratch, or to get your confidence up in safe areas away from traffic, and one-to-one sessions to learn the skills to cope with city traffic and make the most of your commute or fitness rides. If your bike is in poor shape, we can help with that too, with our beginners and intermediate level bike maintenance classes – all completely free of charge.”

Free adult cycle training is being delivered in partnership with Cycle North, supported by Colne Valley Cycle Therapy, Calderdale Council, Bradford Capital of Cycling, Hop On, MMCIC and BeCycling.

The project is also supported by partners Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council and Wakefield Council.

All sessions will be socially distanced. District partners and training providers will adhere to the latest Government regulations and comply with COVID-19 guidance from The Bikeability Trust and British Cycling.

The full list of free Adult Cycle Training options includes:
– Learn to ride – for people learning to cycle for the first time
– Beginners – for those wanting to regain their confidence, in sessions held at off-road venues
– Improvers – covering how to make short road journeys safely and ride alongside other road users – cycling on quieter streets and routes
– Advanced – one-to-one sessions for people who want to cycle in the city with confidence or travel by road to a regular destination
– Bike maintenance – Basic training covering simple adjustments and puncture repairs, or full-day Improver training covering more complex adjustments and repairs

For more details about the free Adult Cycle Training programme and how to book a session, see the CityConnect website.

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