July update

An update from Emily, Bikeability CEO, for our industry.

July 9, 2024


A message for industry

With the results of the election now in, we are looking forward to a time of change across the country and society. Regardless of what you feel about political change, it undoubtedly means there are opportunities and challenges ahead for all of us. In this update, I set out what I believe those challenges and opportunities are for the Bikeability industry.

The Labour manifesto

There is little mention of cycling and active travel in the manifesto, or any specific policies or funding for these areas. While on the surface it may look like there is little for active travel proponents to be enthused by, there are four areas within the manifesto that represent real opportunities for the Bikeability industry: transport, education, public health and the environment.


The manifesto includes a commitment to empowering mayors and local authorities to “create unified and integrated transport systems, allowing for more seamless journeys, and to promote active travel networks.”

People all over the country want more opportunities to get out of their cars, and Bikeability cycle training is vital in helping them feel confident and competent enough to choose active travel. Bikeability is a relatively low cost and high reward active travel intervention, and this, alongside our experience and expertise continues to make us an attractive option for local authorities.


Labour has promised to transform education and “modernise the school curriculum” , and “get more children active by protecting time for physical education”. They will urgently commission an “expert led review of curriculum to develop children’s knowledge and skills”.

Bikeability is already a very important part of many schools’ activities. Our Get Cycling in Schools programme demonstrates there is an appetite for teachers to get directly involved with cycle training. In addition to the physical education aspect of Bikeability, it provides children with a vital life skill that can help them stay active throughout their lives.

Public health

The manifesto also includes a focus on prevention to tackle issues such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, saying “…we must take preventative public health measures to tackle the biggest killers and support people to live longer, healthier lives.”

Bikeability cycle training is an important public health intervention, which can help address childhood physical inactivity, obesity and the mental health crisis. Training more people to cycle helps them incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, a crucial factor when looking for preventative public health measures.

The Environment

Labour pledge to “being climate leaders at home” and become the “strong global leadership needed to tackle the climate crisis.”

Cycling is an extremely low emission transport choice. This is where we can show that active travel, and Bikeability in particular, is key to delivering on many of the new government’s promises. Not only does Bikeability cycle training help tackle issues within transport, contribute to a modernised curriculum, and keep people healthier, it is also a great choice for protecting the environment.

What we are doing

We are doing everything we can to make sure Bikeability remains on the radar, especially when it comes to the four areas detailed above. Bikeability is a win-win-win-win for the government and the country, and we can and will demonstrate that!

To that end, I will be writing individual letters to all the new secretaries of state, welcoming them to their new roles and telling them what the Bikeability industry does and can do to help support their goals. I also wrote to all candidates before the election to promote Bikeability and underline the support we need from the new government. I’ll also follow up with all successful MP’s, inviting them to support local authorities to keep reaching Bikeability targets and invest in cycle training.

We will also be inviting as many MPs to participate in Cycle to School Week, which takes place 23-27 September this year. Please reach out to your local MPs and Councillors to invite them to your Cycle to School Week events – it’s the ideal opportunity to showcase what we do and the positive effect it has on young people, families and local communities. We have tips on how you do that here – and do remember to let us know if you’re inviting your MP so we can coordinate contacting them.

Our four asks of the new Government

I detailed these in my previous update, but as a reminder, we have four main asks for the new government:

  1. Maintain funding levels for ‘every child’
  2. Extend Get Cycling in Schools programme
  3. Zero Rate VAT on children’s cycles
  4. Bring adult cycling under administration of Bikeability Trust

We will be reminding them of these at every opportunity – the Bikeability industry is well placed to be part of the solution, and we need their support to deliver on that potential.

What you can do

We also have some asks of you, our industry. You have always been, and remain, the most important factor in our success and the biggest source of inspiration. Your dedication, experience and expertise are what makes Bikeability the gold standard in cycle training.

You can help us demonstrate why Bikeability is fundamental to a thriving society. A comprehensive spending review will be taking place later in the year, and we will need to be ready to submit a full business case in mid-August. We will be using the case to ask for the funding we need to continue delivering. We are getting in touch with grant recipients and their contracted training providers for their input into the business case.

Remember that the Trust has been preparing for this moment for some time and this is why we have been focused on building our evidence case through digitisation and our research. We are focused on securing the best long-term funding for Bikeability that we can.

So, most importantly, we need you to keep delivering! As you have seen from our delivery statistics and 2023 impact review, we are helping millions of riders access the vital life skill of cycling. We still have a way to go to make sure we meet the targets we have been set by Active Travel England. We need our industry to keep doing what you do best so we can reach those targets and ensure there is no argument to lessen our funding.

Bikeability cycle training does have support – that is what all of my conversations with former and future MPs have told me. We have every reason to be optimistic about our future, rise to the challenges that have been set, and grab all the opportunities that are in front of us.

Location graphic

Let’s find your closest cycling course