A message from Emily Cherry, Bikeability CEO
I end 2023 supremely proud of all my Bikeability colleagues – both at the Trust and the organisations and instructors across the country delivering Bikeability training to hundreds of thousands of children every year.
It’s a joy to lead an organisation that is focused on improving the experience of children by helping them learn to cycle safely – a skill that will serve them throughout their lives. We have announced record funding to 2025, which is testament to the tireless work of our industry. The passion and enthusiasm, as well as knowledge and experience, is always a joy to witness whenever I visit Bikeability training in action.
Almost half a million children earn Bikeability badges
We announced our delivery stats in August, showing we are reaching more children than ever before. Between April 2022 and March 2023, over 460,000 children received Bikeability training. 9844 primary schools took part in cycle training, representing 66% of primary schools in England (excluding London).
The impact of Bikeability
We launched our new Impact Report for 2022 alongside our delivery stats. The report showcased how we are reaching as many children as possible to provide cycle training, and our focus on innovation.
“A future where kids have transport independence is more than saving money, more than saving the NHS and more than saving the planet. Self-propelled travel puts the joy back into journeys, and connects us with our surroundings.” Chris Boardman MBE, National Active Travel Commissioner, in the Bikeability Impact Report 2022
Updated Cycle Training Delivery Guide
Making sure Bikeability training is the best it can possibly be is one of the most important things we do at the Trust. 2023 saw the launch of the updated Cycle Training Delivery Guide, which sets out how Bikeability training should be delivered to help as many children as possible access the valuable life skill of cycling.
We worked with experts from across the industry, including our own extremely knowledgeable instructors, to make changes that make the guide easier to use, more readable and more user friendly. We also included brand new activity ideas to help demonstrate cycling skills. We are immensely proud of the new Delivery Guide and it will allow us to continue to provide engaging and rewarding Bikeability sessions.
Cycle to School Week 2023
Every year we work with Sustrans to promote Cycle to School Week, which encourages children and their parents to choose cycling as a way to get to school. We ask people to get involved by making a pledge to cycle during the week.
2023 proved to be a record-breaking year for the campaign with over 2300 people making a pledge. That included more than 1200 pledging to cycle to school every day and almost 500 pledging to go on a cycle ride with their family.
A massive thank you to the pupils, parents, schools and staff who pledged and made the week such a success! We can’t wait to do it all again in 2024!
Bikeability and cycle safety
In 2023 we put together a study that showed that cycle training could work to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. The study highlighted the importance of cycle training and the key strategies cyclists can use to help keep them safer on the roads.
Celebrating cycling superstars
2023 saw our biggest ever Celebration of Bikeability – our annual awards that recognise individuals and organisations doing great things for cycle training and sustainable travel.
We had nearly 200 nominations for the awards and almost 5000 people voted for People’s Champion, which celebrates an individual who has shown real dedication to all things Bikeability! A huge thank you has to go to our amazing partners who supported the awards, sponsoring categories and providing over £3000 worth of fantastic prizes!
Bikeability in actions plans
The Bikeability programme was highlighted in two action plans from the government this year – Active Travel England’s Corporate Plan and the Department for Education’s School Sports Action Plan.
The plans demonstrate how important Bikeability is – not just to children have been taught but also hopefully generations of children to come.
Great news for Bikeability
The amazing team at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council and Bikeability instructor Derek Heritage showed reporters from The One Show their fantastic Bike Bus initiative and helped them get cycling!
A poll we conducted on YouGov named footballer Bukayo Saka as the celebrity most children would like to go on a cycle ride with – and Saka himself was kind enough to give a shout out to all the amazing children and parents who took part in Cycle to School Week this year and voted for him as Children’s Cycling Champion!
Bikeability CEO Emily Cherry appeared on BBC Leeds to talk about all things Cycle to School Week, road safety, and Bikeability cycle training – you can listen to the interview here.
Thank you from all of us at the Bikeability Trust
It’s down to the hard work of everyone in the Bikeability industry that as we approach Christmas and the end of the year, we can look back on our achievements with pride and towards our future with excitement.
I am proud of the work we have done and changes we have achieved and very grateful to all the instructors, training providers and grant recipients for your hard work to reach our shared mission to deliver Bikeability to every child!
Thank you and I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and New Year.