National Cycling Project Award winners 200524/05/2005 News
The winners of the National Cycling Project Awards were announced at the CCN/CTC Cycle Campaigns Conference in Godalming on 21st May:
Budgie Bikes Ltd
A cycle hire business based originally at Lancaster station and in Cumbria, and which is expanding into parts of the country as diverse as Yorkshire, Devon, London and Manchester airport. Cycles can be hire from stations, youth hostels, a number of supermarkets and other retail outlets and tourist attractions. Students use bikes provided at Lancaster university and council staff are encouraged to cycle by bikes placed outside town halls. A plus of a scheme is the ability to hire and return a bike at different places, and hire periods can be for as little as one hour. Evidence from the YHA showed strong growth in cycle use where the scheme is available.
London Borough of Ealing
Many local authorities now have policies to encourage cycle use but no other has implemented such a comprehensive and integrated package of measures as the London Borough of Ealing. As well as the usual engineering approaches to cycling promotion, Ealing has tackled the marketing of cycling to achieve cultural change and gives direct support to actual and potential cyclists. Components of the package include on-road cycle training for adults and children to national standards; cycle parking at schools and colleges; the provision of lockers and other storage devices for residents; and the innovative Bicycle Support Team that gives personalised support to individuals, from route planning to maintenance training and advice on keeping cycling during winter.
Sir Thomas Abney in Hackney is an inner city school with a high proportion of lone parents, families on benefit and children from ethnic minority groups. Cycle training, linked to the national standards, is offered to all children in the school with a classification system to inspire children to progress. It takes place in school time, 4 days a week, throughout the year. Parents are also trained and then employed to be cycle trainers themselves. In this way interest in cycling is spread into the community. A pool of loan bikes is available for children and adults who do not have a bike of their own. Promotional events are held to raise the profile of cycling in the school and the head teacher and other staff are fully involved. At the start of the project cycling was almost non-existent at St Thomas Abney. It is now accepted by pupils and parents as an ordinary, everyday and demanded activity. STA Bikes, as the group is known, has recently expanded to do cycle training in 9 other local schools and is looking at similar projects in the wider community.
Cycling for Women
Cycling for Women was set up in 2003 as a one-year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Its goal was to research why cycling amongst women is less than half as common as cycling amongst men. As well as the research, the project actively enabled many women to take up cycling or to improve and increase their cycling through a range of practical activities and information. This included cycle training and maintenance classes, an informal support network, a newsletter and Cycling Angels e-group, and group rides. Research included looking at cycle storage and security, motivation and outreach and publicity methods. The project was very successful at raising the profile of gender issues in cycling and, indeed, could not cater for the large demand for its work that was realised. A CD ROM of good practice guidance is to be produced so that the outcomes of the project can be applied throughout the UK.