Cycle scheme helps tackle transport and health inequalities

More than 1,860 people across West Yorkshire have benefitted from our free adult cycle training.

A free adult cycle training scheme has been shown to help tackle transport and health inequalities across West Yorkshire, with more than a quarter of participants (27%) living in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country*.

More than 1,860 people have benefitted from the free training, which was delivered as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike and on foot. 

Of these, 450 people, including jobseekers and apprentices, also received a bike through the scheme, with two thirds (66%) of these recipients living in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods*.  

From learning to ride for the first time to cycling in traffic, tackling busy junctions, one-to-one sessions on a specific route and bike maintenance, the CityConnect team, in partnership with training providers BikeRight!, has helped more people increase their skills and confidence on the bike.

Nearly 60% of attendees now cycle more often, rising to nearly 80% for people who also received a bike through the scheme.

Participants were also found to be more likely to cycle regularly than the average West Yorkshire resident, with almost two-thirds (65%) of the people who received a bike as well as training now cycling at least once a week and more than half (56%) of those who did not receive a bike cycling at least once a week.

The numbers speak for themselves. We know our work is helping tackle transport and health inequalities where it matters most, ensuring all our residents, regardless of age, ability or circumstance, can access more opportunities.

Cllr Kim Groves Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Cycling can open up new work, training and educational opportunities for people by providing an affordable, convenient travel option.

“The numbers speak for themselves.  We know our work is helping tackle transport and health inequalities where it matters most, ensuring all our residents, regardless of age, ability or circumstance, can access more opportunities.

“Encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only saves individuals money and boosts people’s health, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking short, everyday journeys a viable option for everyone across West Yorkshire.”

Doing what she loves: Meet cycling instructor Liz Porter

We caught up with Liz, who lives in Shipley, to hear all about how attending our free adult cycle training sessions has transformed her life - from someone who was feeling a bit lost to a happy and fulfilling career as a cycling instructor. 

Cycling instructor Liz Porter

Notes to editors

* 27% of attendees live in the 10% most disadvantaged areas in the country, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation

* 66% of people who received a bike live in the 25% most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the country, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation