William Eichler 28 September 2020

Government announces £2m to encourage children to cycle and walk

The Government has announced it will be making £2m available to help encourage children to walk or cycle to school.

The funding announcement was made to mark the beginning of Bike to School Week and one week before the start of Walk to School Week.

Half of the funds will go towards setting up cycle repair workshops - or ‘Doctor Bike’ clinics - in primary schools and local neighbourhoods to make sure students’ bikes are fit for the road.

The other £1m will go towards extending the Walk to School Outreach Programme with measures aimed at tackling the barriers that may prevent children and their families choosing to walk to and from school.

It will also go towards providing schools with classroom materials and access to local coordinators who can help schools get new walking initiatives up and running.

‘Cycling and walking is good for people and the planet’s health, so we want half of all journeys to be cycled or walked by 2030. To do that, we must encourage young people to see cycling and walking as normal as getting the bus or train,’ said cycling and walking minister Chris Heaton-Harris.

‘This funding will support schools and local communities to get more children walking to school, and set up bike surgeries that will help children get their bikes ready to roll, so they can start their day healthy and happy!’

CEO of Sustrans Xavier Brice commented: ‘We’re delighted to be able to run Bike to School Week again this year, after what has been a time of great uncertainty for all families across the country.

‘Our new research shows that the majority of UK parents support changes that have already been made to the streets and places in their local area to make walking and cycling to school easier.

‘It has also identified that interventions, such as cycle routes separated from road traffic, safer junctions and cycling training would help families travel actively to school more.

‘It’s fantastic that the UK Government is recognising the role walking and cycling projects can play in helping families travel in a way that is good for their health and for the environment.’

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