Steer Davies Gleave, previously one of the four contractors which ran Bikeability for Cycling England, a body abolished by the coalition Government, has won the contract to run the Bikeability training scheme.
The Department for Transport has announced the winner of a new £2.1m contract to provide day to day Bikeability support services. Steer Davies Gleave, a transport consultancy firm, won the competitive tender process. Previously this work was shared between four different contractors. led by Steer Davies Gleave.
Using a single supplier to provide support will save an estimated £1.2m over the next three and a half years, said a statement from the DfT.
When the coalition Government scrapped Cycling England, the expert body that oversaw Bikeability and many other projects, a promise was made that Bikeability would be saved. £11m was made available for cycle training during 2011-12. This will deliver up to 275,000 cycle training places to school children aged between 10-11.
Peter Zanzottera, Bikeability support manager, said:
“Steer Davies is proud to be associated with Bikeability as we have been since it started in 2007. With this new contract we offer continuity to all of the stakeholders, parents and children and we anticipate new products and initiatives to swell the numbers of new cyclists.”
Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said:
“This government is strongly committed to cycling.”
No, he really did say that.
He added: “Enabling children to learn to cycle safely and confidently on today’s roads plays a valuable role in creating a new generation of cyclists. That is why we took the decision to safeguard the future of Bikeability with the aim of giving as many children as possible the opportunity to take part in Bikeability cycle training.”
”Bikeability promotes the benefits of cycling as a healthy and enjoyable way of getting around. On a wider level it helps to reduce congestion, gives children more opportunities for exercise, and plays a part in the fight against climate change.”
The rules for local highway authorities and school games organiser host schools (formally School sports partnerships) who receive Bikeability grants are also being changed to allow more flexibility of grant use. Examples include offering training to a greater age range. Currently training is aimed at year six school children but the changes mean that children ranging between school years 5-9 (aged 9-14) will now get the opportunity. Grant recipients will also be able to consider offering the more advanced Level three training. This covers complex road situations to support children cycling in busier areas.