Cyclists gear up for Big Bike Revival

David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Andrew Mitchell apart, you rarely see a politician on a bike. Which is funny, because political parties love cycling. It plays to key agendas such as health and the environment and it’s an easy win as far as boosting green credentials is concerned.
The outgoing coalition government put its money where its mouth was with £1 million of backing for a campaign to help people cycle more safely by giving them the skills to fix and maintain their bikes.

On yer bike

The Big Bike Revival, masterminded by cycling charity CTC, aims to encourage more people to dig out their old bike and rediscover the joys of cycling. The campaign begins in earnest in May, when would-be cyclists will be able to take their bike to a participating re-cycle centre. They can then learn how to fix and maintain the bike, or trade it in for a different model. People will also be able to find out about cycle training and other activities in the area. You will even be able to donate any unwanted bicycles.

Pollution solution

Announcing the government backing, Robert Goodwill, the coalition’s transport minister, 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.”

Saddle sore

In 2013, 42% of adults in Britain had access to a bicycle, yet 63% had not ridden in the previous year. But 37% say they could easily swap the car for the bike for short journeys of less than two miles.
A CTC pilot project in October 2014 proved a big success, attracting more than 1,300 people to 10 centres across West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool. A final list of participating re-cycle centres will be available in May – watch this space.

Ride and park

The outgoing government also announced a further £15 million on improvements to cycle facilities at nearly 300 railway stations across the country. The money will pay for an additional 7,500 cycle parking spaces at 279 stations, tripling the number of cycle parking spaces at stations since 2010. Major stations set to benefit from a grant include Derby, Lincoln, Dorking, Preston and Rugby. There will also be a new cycle route and 300 cycle parking spaces in Cheltenham Spa.

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