Bike Club aims to get youngsters out cycling

Minister wants cycling 'at heart' of transport policy

by Tom Henry   January 14, 2010  

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A project aimed at bringing cycling opportunities to young people is being launched in London and Manchester this month.

'Bike Club''is being launched as a way of tackling a range of health, physical activity, transport and learning barriers for young people aged 10-20 and their families.

It will offer support to groups of young people with training, equipment and facilities that help them use cycling as a way to learn to skills and achieve rewarding experiences.

Initial funding for the development of Bike Club has come from Cycling England. Transport Minister Sadiq Khan will be at Bike Club's London launch on January 18, where he will be addressing attendees.

He said: "I want to put cycling at the very heart of transport planning for the 21st century. That's why the Government has more than doubled the budget for Cycling England; why we've invested £10 million in our Sustainable Travel Towns programme; why we've launched a major £14 million package to transform facilities for cyclists at rail stations; and over 240 major employers have already pledged to implement our new 'Cycle to Work Guarantee'.

"I believe that Bike Club can play a leading role in shaping the travel habits of our children in the future - showing how cycling can not only boost the health of youngsters, cut car usage, and reduce travel costs - but also improve their outlook and quality of life."

At Bike Club’s Manchester launch on January 21, Mike Farrar, the Chief Executive of NHS North West, will be present.

Bike Club has been set up by a consortium of three leading charities: CTC is the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation; UK Youth is the UK’s largest non-uniformed youth organisation and ContinYou provides expertise in the area of extended services, providing learning opportunities beyond the school curriculum.

Further support for Bike Club is being provided by supermarket chain Asda, whose Pedal Power campaign has raised funds that will enable Bike Club to extend its work with greater numbers of young people, including projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.