5-11 June 2023 is the 100th Annual Bike Week

May 31, 2023

Celebrating a century of everyday cycling.

Bike Week 100 encourages active travel through workplace cycling on the daily commute. Transport is the largest single source of carbon emissions in the UK and active travel can significantly reduce an individual’s carbon footprint. While future carbon neutrality is a global priority, younger generations most impacted by climate change in their lifetime are experiencing high levels of climate anxiety and are in need of actionable steps to make a difference in their lives and communities.

Active Cumbria’s Active Travel to School Team are proud to deliver Bikeability, the government’s national cycle training programme, free to students across Cumbria to provide the skills and confidence for pupils to navigate the roads safely via bicycle. Active travel can help children gain a greater understanding of road safety, promote feelings of independence and self-efficacy, and allow young people to actively help tackle climate change.

Active Cumbria’s Active Travel Officer Jen Free stated, “Bikeability training provides life skills that are the foundation that underpin future active travel for the next generation of Cumbrians and provides an actionable route for young people to tackle climate change.”

Active Cumbria’s Bikeability training provider and partner Cyclewise has delivered high quality training to over 50,000 children in Cumbria, developing children’s road safety knowledge and the ability to judge risks in real-life situations on Cumbrian roads. Key to the success of Bikeability training in Cumbria, the programme is delivered in urban and rural settings in local communities where the children live, ensuring meaningful impact of programme delivery.

The 2022-23 Active Cumbria Bikeability Feedback Survey evidenced strong support from Cumbrian Schools for the Bikeability programme, with both instructor professionalism and the training course rated as High or Very High by 95.83% of school survey respondents. One teacher noted, “All moments were contextually safe, children were given a very real example of what cycling on a road is like. Instead of signposting the sessions to drivers, the children were given the skills to negotiate the reality of rural Cumbrian roads.”

Active Cumbria’s 2022-23 Bikeability Feedback Survey has also been able to demonstrate a positive change in parent and guardian’s evaluation of their child’s cycling ability and road safety awareness. Parents and guardians who rated their child’s cycling ability and road safety as either Good or Excellent rose from an initial figure of 18.64% before Bikeability training to 78.95% of total survey respondents after completing a Bikeability course, signifying the high value of Bikeability delivery to Cumbrian communities.

The impact of Bikeability can also be felt across families and communities, promoting sustainable active travel and a healthy lifestyle change. One survey respondent noted, “My child enjoyed this course, and it gave him a lot of confidence.  It also encouraged us to practise more as a family before he did the course.”

Active Cumbria’s successful Bikeability programme is run throughout the academic year, and all schools are invited to participate in Bikeability training which progresses from Level 1 to Level 3. Active Cumbria’s Active Travel to School team supports national and local active travel initiatives to encourage a modal shift and are keen to work alongside schools to develop strategies to encourage active travel, reduce traffic congestion and encourage long term behaviour change.

Active travel to school queries can be directed to the Active Travel to School team on activetravel@activecumbria.org.