Laura Laker provides an update on the Bikeability programme and its recent partnership with Halfords
ContributorSep 4, 2018
Halfords has put its weight behind national cycle training programme Bikeability in a bid to get 25,000 more primary school kids cycling.
The chain is giving an estimated £1 million to the delivery of Bikeability training, and is also offering free bike checks for Bikeability pupils and their families and teachers who visit its stores across the country. Talks to offer refurbished trade-in bikes to poorer children are also underway.
Ahead of the announcement, research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Halfords found that 56 per cent of parents want cycling on the national curriculum so all kids can ride ‘competently, confidently and proficiently’ on the roads.
Bikeability Trust chief Paul Robison said: “Working with Halfords will give us the chance to extend our scope to reach thousands more children and help raise awareness of cycling as an essential life skill.”
Robison says the repair element also helps improve Bikeability delivery for everyone involved, as instructors making minor repairs to kids’ bikes can take up to a quarter of the initial training session and, even worse, kids cannot complete sessions because their bikes just aren’t safe to ride.
“I’m regularly told Bikeability instructors have to turn children away because they don’t have a bike in working condition,” says Robison. “You can imagine the consequences for the children who have to go back to classes from the playground, after they have been looking forward to it. They would be devastated, while all their other classmates are out cycling.
“Bikeability is that bit more effective still when you free up time for training; that could be up to 25 per cent more time spent riding bikes.”
While Halfords’ funding increases the children receiving training in the UK, there’s still a long way to go. Recent Bikeability figures show only 340,000 of a possible 500,000 Bikeability-age children in the UK have access to the training because of limited funds for places. The Department for Transport currently provides £40 million to the Bikeability Trust, which local authorities apply to local children.