The government recently announced it was cutting the budget for cycling, walking and wheeling, a huge loss for improving the options and accessibility for active and healthy travel in Leeds. Overall, the cuts will result in London having over “three times as much funding per year for active travel than the rest of England combined“.
While the sun shines… take bike rides!
We don’t yet know how the funding cuts will impact us in West Yorkshire, or whether the courses we run will be affected, but if you’ve been thinking about doing some training and haven’t booked yet, there’s no time like the present!
A quick recap of some of the events and resources available at the moment in West Yorks*:
- Adult cycle training – from learning to ride to advanced road skills
- Adult bike maintenance courses
- Videos on cycling tips for children
- Bikeability for families (scroll to the end of the page)
- British Cycling led rides – including women-only rides
*Please let us know if there’s more we should add to this list!
If our courses can no longer be free…
Before this funding came along, we used to have to charge a fee on a sliding scale for our Bike Maintenance courses, with those paying the higher rates contributing towards the Leeds Bike Mill Bursary Scheme. This scheme helped to make cycle maintenance training available for everyone regardless of circumstances, by providing free places on our courses.
We’re delighted to be running free courses at the moment, which means we’re still holding some Bursary Scheme funds from the old days, as we will only ever use them to give access to bike maintenance training for the people of Leeds. Assuming one day we will have to charge for courses again, you can donate towards the bursary scheme here.
If you’ve been on a free course and want / are able to pay-it-forward, it will really make a difference to someone in the future.
The bigger picture
Sadly, according to Sustrans, the government’s decision will make it almost impossible to reach the government’s own targets to have “50% of all journeys in English towns and cities being walked or cycled by 2030, and for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050”.
Despite this diasppointing news, we will continue doing what we can to continue to improve access to cycling and bike maintenance in our community. Thank you so much for all your support. Hope to see you on a course soon!