Dozens of schools throughout London are being given grants to help them set up cycling clubs and buy bikes and other equipment for children. The initiative, which benefits 71 schools, is aimed at introducing children to cycling and training them how to ride safely, with schools buying pool bikes and putting on-site cycle parking in place. They will also host cycle safety awareness days and provide training to pupils, staff and parents.
A maximum of three applications were accepted per borough, with the inotiative concentrating on the 13 Biking Boroughs in Outer London, plus ones where there is high car usage, issues such as overcrowding on buses or what is termed “bus behaviour,” and boroughs that are defined as falling in the top ten congested areas in the capital.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We want the joys of cycling to be available to everyone, and children in outer London schools will now be able to join in, gain confidence, and perhaps inspire the rest of their families to get pedaling too.”
TfL said that schools in Biking Boroughs could apply for £9,000 in funding, while those in other boroughs could receive up to £3,000.
Director of Surface Transport Ben Plowden said: “This funding will enable more young children and families to experience and appreciate cycling in London.
“Creating greater opportunities for children to increase their ability and awareness of cycling at school gets them familiar with cycling from an early age - building for a greener, healthier future.”
A full list of the schools benefiting from the initiative can be found on the TfL website. Marcus Shute, the deputy head of St Aubyn's School in Redbridge, said: “We were very pleased to receive our £9,000 cycle club grant from TfL.
“This money has opened up a whole avenue of possibilities for our pupils. We plan to use the money to fund equipment such as pool bikes, locks, spare parts as well as organising events to promote cycling at the school.
“In our after school bike club we plan to teach the younger pupils cycle skills and with our older pupils we plan to run skill based games to further hone their skills. We really hope that by engaging our pupils in cycling activities that more of them will ride to school and help reduce congestion around the school.”
A list of the schools included in the initiative can be found here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.