National cyclists’ charity CTC has teamed up with the Department for Transport (DfT) for the Big Bike Revival which aims to get bikes out of people’s garden sheds and back onto the roads. The £1m initiative was announced yesterday by transport minister Robert Goodwill, who also revealed details of £15 million funding to improve cycling facilities at 300 railway stations across the country.
While 42 per cent of adults had access to a bicycle in 2013, and 37 per cent said that bikes could replace short journeys of up to two miles that they currently make by car, some 63 per cent said they had not ridden one in the past year. The initiative is aimed at converting those levels of ownership of bicycles into actually using them.
Working in partnership with bicycle re-cycling centres throughout the country, the Big Bike Revival from 23 May to 7 June will see events take place in towns and cities across the country, many of them coinciding with half-term, and enabling people to:
• fix a cycle so it can start to be used and learn how to maintain it
• trade a cycle for one better suited to individual needs and donate surplus cycles
• learn where best to cycle in their local area and discover local cycling activity and
• receive cycle training to increase confidence in cycling on the road.
Mr Goodwill said: “We are serious about getting people on their bike – cycling is great for our health and means less congested cities and less pollution.
“Now spring has arrived, there is no better time to bring out that bike gathering dust in the shed. The Big Bike Revival will help you sort out the punctures and minor mechanical problems that we have all used as an excuse not to get out on two wheels.”
According to CTC chief executive Paul Tuohy, “As the national cycling charity, CTC wants to encourage as many people as possible to fall back in love with cycling and experience all the benefits, health and economic, it brings.
“Knowing so many bikes are lying dormant gathering dust in people’s homes, the Big Bike Revival aims to bring them back to life and give people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities the incentive they need to reengage with cycling.
“The minister’s backing is a sign of the level of importance that the Department for Transport is placing on getting people back into the saddle, for which we are enormously grateful.”
CTC says that a list of the bike recycling centres participating in the initiative will be published in May.
Meanwhile, £15 million will be invested in upgrading cycling facilities at 279 stations including at Derby. Dorking, Preston and Rugby, all of which get new facilities, plus expansion of existing ones at Cheltenham Spa and Woking.
“It is important we do all we can to integrate cycling into longer journeys, and that’s why increasing facilities at rail stations is vital,” said Mr Goodwill.
“These new facilities will make it easier and more convenient for people to cycle to and from their station and I am delighted we will have tripled cycle parking at stations since 2010 once these new schemes have been built.”
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.