I am today (12 March 2015) announcing funding of £1 million to support the development of the Big Bike Revival a programme of activities on the ground, designed to unlock cycling potential by encouraging people who don’t currently cycle but would actively consider it, to start or return to cycling. The programme will be delivered by the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC): The national cycling charity.
In 2013, 42% of adults in Britain had access to a bicycle, yet 63% said they had not ridden a bicycle in the past year. Despite this, 37% of adults in Britain agree that many of the short journeys (less than 2 miles) that they currently make by car could just as easily be made by cycling. The Big Bike Revival will aim to convert the high level of cycle ownership into increased cycle usage and replace short trips by car with trips by bike.
The programme comprises a nationwide programme of events in towns and cities, delivered in conjunction with bike re-cycle centres to present members of the public with an opportunity to:
- fix a cycle so it can start to be used and learn how to maintain it
- trade a cycle for one better suited to individual needs and donate surplus cycles
- learn where best to cycle in their local area and discover local cycling activity
- receive cycle training to increase confidence in cycling on the road
A pilot programme was held during half-term week in October 2014. This demonstrated significant health and economic benefits, with many of those attending the events committing to cycle more frequently and a number of respondents making a change to start commuting to work by bike.
CTC’s delivery of the Big Bike Revival is scheduled to commence during mid May, with many of the events being held during the school half-term week.