A Cycle Friendly Community Success Story

Posted by Katie Wright / 23/05/2014

Cycle Friendly Communities

Ageing Well Edinburgh received £9989.80 from Cycling Scotland’s Cycle Friendly Communities Fund to deliver a cycling programme to members aged 50 and above. The project titled Velo-city was a partnership project between Edinburgh Leisure, NHS Lothian and Pilmeny Development Project.

The three aims of the project were;

  •   Easy transition for participants completing basic cycle programme to join the more independent self-sustaining programme
  •   More older people (aged 50+) using a bike as their chosen mode of transport around the city, becoming regular cycle users
  •   Positively changing attitudes and perceptions about being a ‘cyclist’ by older people – challenging the ‘fear’ and increasing confidence in cycling ability

Ageing Well Edinburgh aids inactive older people (aged 50+) to lead more active and healthy lifestyles by providing them with opportunities and encouragement to become active. A survey they conducted before the project revealed that a large proportion of participants were not confident enough to go cycling on their own or did not have their own bike.

The group used their CFSCF grant to purchase bikes which they loaned to participants of the basic cycle programme. Route cards with cycle routes, travel diaries and cycle ride record cards for participants to log journeys and mileage were developed. Due to the loan of bikes, it was anticipated that through increased cycling experience, confidence would be built allowing for more independent and regular cyclists.

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According to a survey carried out, the project was a considerable success story!

  • Only 12% felt very confident cycling before the bike loan which soared to 56% after the bike loan period.
  • A total of 65% of participants considered using a bike as a means of transport before the project which increased to 88% at the end of the funded project period.
  • Over the duration of the Velo-City project, 1,354.2 miles were travelled by bike. This equates to a carbon saving of 367.3kg, had the same distance been covered by car

One participant said;

I’ve really enjoyed having the Velo-city loan bike and have been on some good runs around Edinburgh and elsewhere. I’ve definitely lost a bit of weight in the process and feel fitter and healthier into the bargain, which is great. Soon after handing the Velocity bike back I bought a 2nd-hand, 18-gear, hybrid/road bike from the Bike Station and have been using this regularly ever since. “

Another said;

It’s brilliant, first class! Encouraging people to take exercise. I thought previously I just wouldn’t have used a bike so wouldn’t have originally bought one. I am now using the bike to travel into town for journeys usually made by car!”

Read on to find out how your community can apply for a Cycle Friendly Community grant…

Cycle Friendly and Sustainable Communities Fund is now open!

Cycling Scotland’s Cycle Friendly and Sustainable Communities Fund (CFSCF) supports communities to encourage cycling locally and to deliver a sustainable cycling project. A maximum of £5,000 is available to community groups who have an aim to increase and encourage every-day cycling in their community. Projects will be funded for a 12 month period, during which, they will work to fulfill the following criteria;

  • Promote behaviour change to encourage modal shift and account for associated carbon emission reductions
  • Promotes local cycling activity and infrastructure in your community
  • Delivers a sustainable cycling project that supports the wider community

A total of 66 projects have been funded since March 2012 which has seen a total of £491,427.36 awarded to community groups across Scotland.  These have consisted of school cycling projects, youth projects, bike recycling, cycling and bike maintenance training, female cycling and training, ethnic minority cycling projects and age specific cycling projects i.e. aged 50 plus.

If you have a project which fulfils the CFSCF criteria, you are invited to submit an application form. Application forms can be downloaded from the Cycling Scotland website;

http://www.cyclingscotland.org/our-projects/award-schemes/cycle-friendly-community-project.

Application closing date will be 5pm on Monday 2nd June 2014. Any queries on the CFSCF can be directed to Shona Morris, Development Officer at shona@cyclingscotland.org or 01412295444.

 

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