Free socially distant learn to ride and beginner cycle training now available across West Yorkshire

Whether people are looking to learn to ride for the first time or if they want to get back on a bike having not cycled in years - or even decades - there is a session for everyone.

Free socially distant learn to ride and beginner cycle training is being made available to help more people living and working in West Yorkshire travel by bike. 

The cycle training scheme is being delivered as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which is aimed at enabling more people to travel by bike and on foot, in partnership with local authorities. 

Whether people are looking to learn to ride for the first time or if they want to get back on a bike having not cycled in years - or even decades - there is a session for everyone. 

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“To date, more than 1,860 people have benefitted from the Combined Authority’s free adult cycle training scheme, with nearly 60% of attendees cycling more often as a result.

“Two thirds of journeys in our region are less than five miles, which takes about 30-minutes by bike.  Enabling increasing numbers of us to travel by bike and on foot is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“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 all our residents, regardless of age, ability or circumstance.”

This latest offer builds on the one-to-one socially distant cycle training from the front door launched earlier this month.

From journey planning to cycling in traffic, and tackling busy junctions and roundabouts, the one-to-one sessions are aimed at giving people the skills and confidence to travel by bike regularly to a destination, such as a workplace.

The sessions are available to anyone aged 16 plus who lives in West Yorkshire. Participants must have access to a roadworthy bike and be confident cycling on traffic-free routes and, ideally, quiet residential streets.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authorities to deliver a package of emergency measures, including trial cycling and walking infrastructure, to help people move around the region safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This work includes both short and longer-term proposals, which are being submitted to Government to access £12.5 million funding for West Yorkshire through the Emergency Active Travel Fund.

An online map has also been created for residents to highlight areas where improvements are needed to help more people travel by bike or on foot.

The free adult cycle training scheme is being delivered in partnership with Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council and Wakefield Council. 

Woman wearing helmet on a bike in front of a tree

Getting back on the bike’s a breeze with CityConnect’s free adult cycle training: Meet Zohrah Zancudi

It’s a familiar tale and it starts with a memorable childhood moment many of us are likely to share: learning to ride a bike. 

That first taste of freedom, whiling away those endless hours on your bike for no reason other than it felt good. 

The years pass and for one reason or another cycling falls by the wayside and before you know it you’re a fully blown grown-up who hasn’t been on a bike in years. 

Before the lockdown, we caught up with Zohrah Zancudi, from Brighouse, to hear all about how our free adult cycle training has helped her bridge the gap.