Andy Tucker, of BikeRight, gives us his view on the Government's decision to axe Cycling England, and the continuation of Bikeability

OPINION: A crying shame if Bikeability is canned

“It would be a crying shame if Bikeability is canned. In lots of cases it’s the only chance that young children have to get engaged with cycling. It not only teaches them how to cycle safely, but could see them becoming more active and healthier, as a result.

There is concern generally that any cuts in funding for cycling will have an impact on the number of new cyclists. This in turn will hit retailers. It’s also not what the Government wants as more cycling is seen as a way of tackling many issues, from CO2 emissions to obesity.
The Government has said that Bikeability is safe for the remainder of this Parliament, but they have not said how the funding will be managed, or at what level. It looks like it may be included in the Local Sustainable Travel Fund, which is to be controlled by DfT.

£200k seems small change compared to the scale of public spending cuts needed. The spending review could see a reduction in overall Bikeability funding. And if funding for cycling is amalgamated into the Local Sustainable Travel Fund it could get crowded out by other travel options and initiatives.

Bikeability instructors are indirectly funded by Cycling England in so far as organisations such as BikeRight pay their wages through revenue generated on Bikeability contracts. Some local authorities deliver their own Bikeability using internal resource, but the grants come from Cycling England.

All instructors have to be trained by an accredited Bikeability Instructor Training Provider, via a four-day course, followed by a post course assessment.”

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