As Active Travel England announces £200 million of funding to support local authorities to make infrastructure improvements to enable more people to walk, wheel and cycle, CEO of The Bikeability Trust, Emily Cherry, said: “The Bikeability Trust welcomes the news that Active Travel England is awarding £200 million to local authorities to improve active travel infrastructure and encourage more people to cycle, walk and wheel.
“To meet Active Travel England’s target of achieving 50% of urban journeys walked or cycled by 2030, the government must also invest in behaviour change programmes like Bikeability to give people the skills and confidence they need to cycle to school, work or the shops. We are on a mission to ensure no child leaves school without the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to cycle. Our cycle training is getting our nation’s children pedalling and we are excited to see how rolling out more funding for initiatives, such as safer school streets, will really activate the opportunity for children.
“In recent YouGov polling, 74% of those surveyed agreed that professional cycle training for children is important. This, combined with safe cycle routes (59%), time for parents to practice with their child (34%), and mandatory driver education on sharing the road with cyclists (30%), were listed as solutions which would make parents feel more confident to allow their child to cycle on the roads.
“Improving infrastructure will encourage more people to leave the car at home but to truly enable the next generation to travel sustainably, every child in England must be given the opportunity to learn to cycle with Bikeability. By teaching children how to ride with confidence on our roads and embedding healthy travel habits when young, active travel is more likely to become the obvious choice for short, everyday journeys.
“To achieve the modal shift we need in our towns and cities, the government must take a holistic approach to active travel and continue to fund both infrastructure improvements and behaviour change programmes. “