The Cycling for Everyone programme has launched at Anglesey Primary School in Lozells. The programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport to the tune of £2 million and delivered locally by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), is designed to get more people cycling, especially those who wouldn’t normally consider it - and to make it part of everyday life.
The programme is delivering activities like child and adult cycle training, improving access to bikes and adapted bikes and offering active travel events. Dedicated cycle hire centres are being set up and bike giveaways are being planned along with free training.
Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling & Walking Commissioner, explains why cycling is so beneficial for individuals and the wider community.
“Cycling’s brilliant, it’s a miracle pill. It’s great for mental health, it’s great for physical health. From experience, it keeps me active. I don’t go to the gym as such, I just get my exercise from riding a bike around town. And that can be, you know - I think the whole nation can - we all need to get a bit fitter”.
He believes that the programme will benefit the wider community by reducing the amount of car journeys made for short journeys and improve air quality.
“It really benefits the wider community as well. So in Birmingham, 25% of car journeys are under one mile - so that really puts a lot of strain and pressure around our communities. It’s obviously really poor for the air quality, so if we can get more people out of their cars of short journeys by making it safer with infrastructure and giving people access to bikes, then everyone will win.”
Naheem Aziz, Cycling Instructor, is delivering the first session of the programme at Anglesey primary school. He is teaching the children communication skills that are required to go onto the roads.
“What we basically do, we’re encouraging children to ride bikes, but most importantly, learn the skills that they need to ride bikes. This could be things like observation skills, communication skills, priority skills, pretty much the same skill, the same language that all road users use on the road, which is important for cyclists to do.”
Yonis, a pupil at Anglesey primary school, says that he has learnt a lot from the lesson. “Just by doing this lesson for like, around 35 minutes, has taught me lots of things. For example, not falling more - protecting yourself, doing the left foot first, then the right. Signalling. I never knew them before when I was even riding - I never knew. But now I do. Which is amazing.”
Umairun, another pupil at the school, says that the programme has made him feel more confident about cycling on the road.
“Before when I used to ride on the road I used to fall. But after today’s lesson I think I might not fall because I know how to do the left break first and then the right.”
For more information about the Cycling for Everyone programme, head to Transport for West Midlands Cycling for Everyone.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going