Bike Hub, the levy fund owned by the British bicycle industry, is to work with the Department for Transport to encourage more cycling – and walking – to school. This was revealed last week by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The National Schools Award Scheme will generate a new national momentum for cycling and walking to school and is supported from the very top of Government. The scheme will bring together a number of national organisations which already have wide experience of working with schools in cycle training, walking projects, and in programmes to encourage behaviour change in travelling to school. The aim will be to capitalise on, and enhance, existing schemes, such as the “Big Pedal” and Cycling Scotland’s “Cycling Friendly Schools”, as well as Walk to School Week from Living Streets.
Phillip Darnton, executive director of the Bicycle Association, said:
“We are very pleased to be working with the DfT to develop the scheme; as yet we have not settled any of the details. We are planning to work with TfL, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets and, of course, with Sustrans who already run the Big Pedal with funding from Bike Hub. We are also engaging with the Youth Sports Trust, the Association of Bikeability Schemes and other organisations such as the CTC to design a scheme which will appeal to as many schools as possible up and down the country.”
Running since 2003, the Bike Hub levy is voluntary, paid by the majority of UK bike shops and suppliers. About £400,000 is raised each year with contributions supporting cycling participation projects across the UK, especially youth projects. Sustrans’ Bike It project, seed-funded by Bike Hub in 2004, now has over 70 full-time officers working in over 700 schools each year. Bike Hub also created a free cycle satnav smartphone app to help people find and follow the best routes for bikes.