Did you know you can get free cycling training to get comfortable on the roads? There’s also free maintenance training, cargo bike loans, and funding available to invest in equipment.

Following a recent event we hosted with Valentin Jeanjean at Cycling Scotland, and Gail Murray from Bike for Good in Glasgow, we are thrilled to share more details about cycling support in your area.

 

Why aren’t more people getting on a bike?

57% of all mode journeys in Scotland in 2021 were under 5 km in distance,” Cycling Scotland

With so many short journeys, it’s notable that we don’t see more cyclists on the roads. Cycling is beneficial for both physical and mental health, reduces traffic congestion, and leads to environmental and economic benefits. However, not being able to access a bike, and a lack of suitable infrastructure, role models and confidence or skills are some of the barriers people report to using a bike.

Our recent guests, Gail and Valentin are experienced and passionate about helping people overcome these challenges. They generously shared knowledge and practical solutions with us on where to get practical and financial help.

photo of Gail Murray from Bike for Good presenting a range of supportive offers.

Gail Murray, Bike for Good presenting a range of offers.

 

Access tools to overcome barriers

Cycling Scotland offers a programme of expert support to help workplaces, communities, schools, campuses, and social housing providers become “Cycling Friendly”. Organisations receive support and advice towards Cycling Friendly Accreditation, which includes a site visit followed by a detailed action plan. Check out cycling stories to see how different communities have benefited from funding.

Bike for Good is a charity and social enterprise that offers both free and paid support. Gail presented many of their free options, like free E-cargo bike loans, training for route planning, and essential maintenance skills. They offer cycling training – either 1-2-1 or in groups – where you ride together. You can get support every step of the way, from getting used to the idea of riding a bike to stepping on the pedals. Read more about Bike for Good’s offers.

 

Planning action

With these insights into the range of possible activities, from applying for funding to getting on a bicycle, an organisation can benefit from planning ways to help.

As noted in our previous blog post Transport: what can we do?, we recommend beginning with a transport survey within an organisation. You could ask your staff and volunteers:

  • How do you get to work?
  • How far are you travelling?
  • How do you wish to travel?

The survey could also include the question, what would it take for you to travel by bicycle? With insights from your survey into the actual barriers people are facing, it will be easier to plan the steps forward.

Have a look at the Cycling Friendly Employer Award framework for detailed advice on a range of actions and improvements workplaces can carry out to support their staff to cycle.

 

Where are we heading?

We all operate within larger social and governance structures as people and as groups. The climate team at GCVS are curious to learn more about the effects of the final phase of Glasgow Transport Strategy from Glasgow City Council. In the council’s words:

Over 100 policies have been laid out within the strategy, which sets an overall target of reducing vehicle kilometres travelled in Glasgow by 30% by 2030…

We in the third sector need support from national and local government, as well as taking action ourselves. This is not just about becoming resilient and adapting to the current effects of climate change, but about creating a fair path forward. The council writes,

“The Glasgow Transport Strategy is set to play a central role in the fight against climate change but also seeks to support economic success, create thriving, liveable neighbourhoods and grapple with poverty.”

 

Please contact Bob and Gazelle, GCVS Climate Coordinators by email if you have any questions about environmentally friendly practices within your organisation. You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates.

Glasgow Climate Action Hub logo
We also invite you to look out for the free events offered by GCVS and partners via Glasgow Climate Action Hub.

If you have questions about cycling support mentioned in this article, please feel free to contact Bike for Good at activetravel@bikeforgood.org.uk and Cycling Scotland at cyclingfriendly@cycling.scot.