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As people across Scotland celebrate Bike Week (30 May – 5 June), Cycling UK is launching a new project to get even more Scots cycling.
Called Shift, the charity will provide funding and expert support to organisations so that they can deliver cycling activities that will help people jump on a bike, instead of into their car.
Scotland has seen a surge in cycling during the Covid pandemic, with cycling journeys up 47 per cent in the 12 months following the start of the first lockdown in March 2020.
Cycling UK wants to see this trend continue beyond the pandemic and make cycling a natural choice for shorter journeys.
The most recent data shows that 34 per cent of journeys under 1km in Scotland are made by car, which rises to over 50 per cent when the journey is between 1km and 2km.
Shift will aim to equip more Scots with the choice of cycling for these short journeys and reach people on low incomes who have limited transport options.
It will operate right across Scotland from Shetland to the Borders.
The programme builds on Cycling UK’s current community work, such as the
Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme which saw more than 25,000 bikes repaired during
Funded by Transport Scotland, the project will provide grants of between £400-800 and a host of expert support to at least 100 organisations who want to help people in
their community discover the benefits of cycling.
From cycle training and confidence boosting sessions to cargo bike trials for local
businesses, Shift will deliver a wide range of activities to get communities pedalling
for everyday journeys.
A network of development officers based in communities across Scotland will be on
hand with expert support and advice, networking opportunities and access to
The project aims to reach 20,000 people over the next 12 months.
Grants are open to any organisation that can meet the aims of the project including
charities, community groups, higher education establishments and businesses.
Graeme Dey, transport minister at the Scottish Government, said: ‘I’m pleased we’re
providing £390,000 to support the Shift programme by Cycling UK.
‘This high impact grant fund will provide at least 100 organisations across Scotland with grants, coupled with expert guidance to encourage cycling for everyday journeys.
‘The benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling are clear – both for individuals and for
‘Cycling rates have never been higher and we need to keep up this positive momentum for our wellbeing and for our climate.
‘If you’re an organisation hoping to get communities cycling – get in touch and find
out how the Shift programme can help support your plans for active and more
Gabriella Farquhar, Shift programme manager for Cycling UK, said: ‘When more people ride bikes to get around, the whole community benefits.
‘It improves people’s health and wellbeing, reduces air pollution and traffic congestion,
and brings economic benefits as well.
‘The people who know communities best are those who live and work in them.
That’s why we’re supporting organisations to run cycling activities in their own
communities using their local knowledge and expertise.
‘I’d encourage any organisation that wants to help more people to ride bikes for short
everyday journeys to apply for a grant and get involved in this exciting project.’
For more information go to https://www.cyclinguk.org/shift