June update

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

June 4, 2024


A message for industry

With the announcement of the general election, times continue to be uncertain, and I felt it would be helpful to outline what this may mean for the Bikeability industry.  

Where do the parties stand on Bikeability?

The commitment to Bikeability training for every child in the 2019 Conservative Manifesto has been a very useful bargaining chip when it came to securing funding. Rest assured I have been working hard to ensure that this is seen as a priority for all parties, especially across the latter few months.   

All three main parties are positive about maintaining cycle training for children, and Bikeability is a programme that has cross party support, as the largest road safety education programme. 

However, its unlikely we will get a dedicated Manifesto pledge, but I expect that we will have hooks into a range of pledges including on Active Travel, Health / Obesity / Physical activity.  We will be analysing manifestos to support our General Election campaign, which you can read more on below.  

What is the likely Scenario for funding beyond 2025?  

Regardless of who wins, the July timing means a full Comprehensive Spending Review is now possible before the end of the financial year. This means it will set Government spending for the parliamentary term (to 2029), so the best-case scenario is a long-term funding settlement with clarity, and likely all confirmed before the Spring.   

However, the new Government will need time to assess how to implement all their pledges against what we expect to be declining public sector funding levels.  

We have been preparing for this, and this is why our digitisation and evidence programme has been so central to our strategy. We’ll be presenting the best evidence case we can for continuation of funding and ambition. Securing a long-term funded commitment is our priority. 

Our short-term priority has to be on ensuring we deliver the targets set for ‘every child’ so we can demonstrate Bikeability is operating at scale and can continue. This is where we need all of you focusing on reaching those targets.   

Bikeability and General Election Campaigning

As a Charity we are governed by the guidance on political campaigning from the Charity Commission.  

We are clear during the General Election that we do not endorse or promote any particular parties’ views or opinions.  

You may be approached to host a visit for a Parliamentary Candidate, and our advice would be to not host visits post election period to avoid any political bias. The Bikeability Trust will not be arranging visits for any candidates in the election period.  

Local authorities must not, under the Local Government Act 1986, give publicity to any political party or publish any material that appears to be designed to influence public support for or against a political party. 

However, it is also vital that we set out during the election period to candidates what the Bikeability Trust is seeking of the next Government. To do so, we will be running a direct campaign to candidates across England, working with Fusion Media.  

Our four asks of the next Government

As part of our role lobbying for the future for Bikeability,  we have four main asks for the next 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 cycle under administration of Bikeability Trust

Sitting along the asks is the narrative that Bikeability cycle training is an important public health intervention in helping address the childhood physical inactivity, obesity crisis and mental health crisis. Alongside this, Bikeability is the largest road safety education campaign that has proven evidence in increasing children’s hazard perception.  

We will be sharing this with all candidates, along with the ‘reach’ data from 2023/24 of Level 2 courses. We will be asking them to ensure should they be elected that active travel and cycle training forms part of their local focus and they support LHA’s to ensure funding for cycle training for children and families is core to active travel / health / education / road safety strategy.  

We expect this campaign to be shared with candidates around 24 June, and the delivery statistics section of the Bikeability website will be updated with data at the same time.  

Bikeability going forward

I am optimistic about the future of Bikeability – with the hard work from our industry we have shown time and again that we are providing children with a vital skill for life. And as those of you who have attended the recent workshops on our strategy will know, we have ambitious goals! 


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