The Bikeability Trust - Annual Report 2018

Contents PAGE Forewords 2 - 3 Bikeability - a general review 3 The Bikeability Trust – an introduction 11 Our activities in 2018, and aspirations for 2019 12 Financial review 15 Further information 16 Bikeability training makes an essential contribution to getting children cycling and it has been so impressive to see the commitment and dynamism of the large numbers of people involved in Bikeability training. This includes schools, the instructors, those running the training schemes, the local authorities and School Games Organisers who manage the programme locally, and also the staff of the Bikeability Trust itself. The Bikeability Trust was set up in January 2017 and I am delighted to be chair of the board. The board of trustees of the Bikeability Trust, all volunteers, give their time to ensuring the charity acts for the public benefit and complies with our governing rules, but they do so much more than just that. We have a committed group who bring their skills to the work of the Trust in multiple ways between board meetings giving their time to support the trust directors and act as ambassadors for the Trust. We can draw on our trustees’ skills in marketing, education, local government, road safety, urban design, town planning, public health, research and evaluation, behavioural psychology, accountancy, and justice on the roads, to help inform the Trust’s direction. The Trust’s remit is to constantly improve the Bikeability programme. The central funding allows us to keep a strong focus on continued quality improvement. There has been limited research to date, but that done has shown improved hazard perception and recall of riding methods to deal with them. IPSOS Mori polls in 2010 and 2015 found that 50% of both parents and children say children ride more after the course. The Trust is committed to improving our understanding of the impact of training. Getting children through training though is only one part of the jigsaw. It will only make an impact if parents are involved in supporting their children’s newly acquired skills, and if there are safe and accessible routes for children to get to school, which is why we are contributing to some of the programmes that have come out of the National Cycling and Walking Investment Plan’s Cycle Safety Review. 52% of children in English primary schools (outside London) participated in Bikeability Level 2 training in 2017/18. It is very popular with children and with their parents and schools, but our ambition is that 100% of children are offered Bikeability training to Level 3. There is so much to do to achieve this, not least securing a bigger government grant. But we know it is achievable given the huge goodwill and commitment of everyone involved in Bikeability training. ALISON HILL CHAIR OF TRUSTEES – BIKEABILITY TRUST Learning to ride is a rite of passage, and cycling is a life skill, providing children with freedom and independence, and all the opportunities that come with being able to cycle. I would like to thank all the highly dedicated people who make this wonderful programme possible: the instructors who pass on their passion for cycling; the scheme managers who organise it all and focus on the quality of the experience for the riders; the grant recipients who make sure that Bikeability grant money is used well and efficiently in their areas; and the Department for Transport (DfT), who have backed and funded the programme since the start. As this is the first review, it is worth looking at how far Bikeability has come since it was created over ten years ago. The first phase – from 2007 to 2009 – was about growth : persuading local authorities to adopt Bikeability, setting up Bikeability schemes and training enough instructors to deliver it. From 2010 to 2011 was a transition period as Cycling England, the organisation that had created Bikeability, was shut down and DfT went out to tender for a contract to administer Bikeability, which continued to embed during this period, with take- up still growing but more slowly. 2012 to 2014 saw a focus on quality , with a revised national standard, the introduction of a quality assurance regime for the first time and the establishment of an industry body with a start-up grant from the DfT. The main lasting effect of the last of these is the annual conference, which offers a chance for all of us to share best practice. Demand for Bikeability grant funding started to outstrip supply in 2015, which meant that bidding became more competitive. With hindsight, this was an unfortunate time to launch Bikeability Plus , a suite of modules to enhance core Bikeability, drawn from industry experience. Nevertheless, Bikeability Plus remains a useful way to deepen the relationship with schools and parents, and to instil a love of cycling in children earlier and more often through their school days. 2016 saw an increase in funding for Bikeability and, because it was guaranteed through to 2020, it allowed multi-year grant agreements to be put in place for the first time, giving some much-needed stability . The period from 2016 to 2018 was another transition period for the central administration of Bikeability, this time making the change from a consultancy contract with the DfT to an administration grant, once the Bikeability Trust had been set up as a dedicated charity. One of the important advantages of this new administrative arrangement, apart from the cost savings which are ploughed back into Bikeability delivery, is the ability of the Bikeability Trust to promote the benefits of Bikeability to key audiences. For external audiences (parents, schools and the general public) this is still in its early days, but we have made some headway with improving communications within the industry. This started with the national Bikeability Awards in 2018 and continues with regular newsletters, a growing social media presence and training webinars. We welcomed Halfords as Bikeability’s first partner in 2018. The partnership still has potential to grow into a strong, mutually beneficial and lasting one, with real benefits for aspiring riders (including free bike checks and discounts), the industry itself as well as for those who can only experience Bikeability thanks to the extra funding the partnership brings. We hope to build other partnerships as well and have set up a Partnerships Advisory Group to use as a sounding board. Our approach to change, of which there are several prominent examples at the moment is one of consultation – with both the cycle training industry and other stakeholders. We have established Advisory Groups both for Effectiveness (which encompasses standards, quality and monitoring/ evaluation) and for Promotion and Communications. We are especially grateful to those who give up their time to help us with these groups: we recognise that not only do the best ideas come from the industry itself (Bikeability Plus being a good example), but also that our ideas and ambitions need to be challenged, supported and strengthened by external input. The whole team (well, all seven of us) who work on Bikeability day to day are grateful also for the support that our dedicated (and challenging) trustees give us. We are accountable to them, to the industry, to the DfT for the safe and efficient handling of their grant and, most of all, to the end beneficiaries of Bikeability – the children and parents whom we want to enjoy a lifetime of confident and enjoyable cycling. PAUL ROBISON CEO – BIKEABILITY TRUST Welcome to the first annual review of the national Bikeability cycle training programme. This review also covers the activity of the Bikeability Trust, but its main aim is to take stock of the Bikeability programme itself. The Bikeability Trust 2 3