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Mon, 24 Aug 2020

A campaign to get more people on their bikes and give them the confidence to cycle more regularly has already started to prove a success.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council's road safety team has been offering free bespoke cycle training to staff and residents, to encourage them to consider two wheels instead of four.

The Make The Change campaign started during lockdown, as more residents took up cycling as part of their daily exercise, and is looking to build upon national efforts to not only get people fitter but to increase mores sustainable modes of transport for those short journeys.

So far, the East Riding team has provided training to secondary school students who want to ride to lessons in September, rather than getting a lift in their parents' car or rely on the school bus.

Other people to benefit from the scheme include retired couple May and John, from Bridlington, who were reluctant to cycle longer distances because they didn't feel safe in traffic, but after one session they were confident enough to tackle more than 20 miles.

The team also helped a member of council staff who taught herself to ride a bike during the lockdown, and wanted training sessions to improve her skills and road knowledge. She is now ready to commute to County Hall when she returns to work there.

Steve Wigley, principal road safety officer at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "We are very pleased to have been able to help council staff and members of the public, of all ages and abilities, have the skills and the confidence to start cycling more.

"The feedback we have had from people who have completed our free, bespoke training has been really positive and we are keen to support many more people in the coming months.

"Now is the perfect time to change your lifestyle and start walking and cycling more for short journeys, and to enjoy the health benefits as well as the environmental benefits. Get in touch with us and see how we can help you."

A social media campaign by the council to encourage residents to make cycling and walking the new normal for short journeys has reached hundreds of thousands of residents and messages to promote the scheme have been displayed on refuse vehicles and buses in the East Riding.

The road safety team has also had a positive response from parish councils around the East Riding and it is hoped training hub events in village locations can be organised when social distancing measures allow.

For further information on free, bespoke cycle training, email road.safety.training@eastriding.gov.uk


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