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Up to 2 million more children will have access to walk to school programmes and cycle training programmes over the next 2 years thanks to a multimillion-pound investment announced by

Active Travel England (ATE) today (29 September 2023).

The £60 million package will help parents have more confidence to walk or cycle with their kids on the school run by funding initiatives that give more children better road skills and aim to help make it easier for parents to choose greener travel options.

The 2-year funding will include £50 million to expand Bikeability cycle training to a million more young people. This scheme has already delivered training to more than 4 million children since 2007.

A further £5 million will support walk to school programmes aimed at hundreds of thousands of pupils in schools across England via the charity Living Streets.

Chris Boardman, Active Travel Commissioner, said:

Giving kids transport independence and enabling them to walk, wheel or cycle on the school run is what they want, and what we want for them.

This £60 million funding package will help put the joy back into journeys and create a generation of young people who feel confident to make healthier and greener travel choices.

Decarbonisation Minister, Jesse Norman, said:

The government wants children up and down the country to benefit from the freedom as well as the huge mental and physical health benefits of cycling. That is why it is investing £60 million in this package of measures to support active travel for young people.

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said:

The journey to and from school is an essential part of the school day for every child, and it’s encouraging that Active Travel England is investing in active travel initiatives for children and young people that can improve their health and wellbeing.

Many schools are already encouraging these initiatives locally and this is being supported with our School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which was published earlier this year.

The plan supports initiatives to increase active and safe travel to school such as Walk to School Outreach, School Streets and Bikeability – and these include inclusive delivery for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Also included in the package is £4 million to extend Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival programme to March 2025. The scheme has already engaged over 80,000 people of all ages, helping them learn cycling basics and feel more confident while pedalling.

Meanwhile, an additional £500,000 will fund an extension to the Modeshift STARS and Active Travel Ambassador schemes. The STARS program provides recognition for schools, businesses and organisations that show excellence in supporting and delivering active travel plans in their community. Active Travel Ambassadors work with secondary school students to encourage their peers to travel actively.

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said:

This funding will support even more families to choose active ways to travel to school, boosting the nation’s health, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

Our programmes have been incredibly successful, playing a huge role in helping more children walk to school. We look forward to more pupils and schools joining us and reaping the benefits that come from swapping the school run for a school walk.

Emily Cherry, Chief Executive of the Bikeability Trust, said:

What great news to wrap up Cycle to School Week. We and ATE share an ambition that every child has the confidence to cycle and can enjoy this skill for life. This funding will help us and our brilliant Bikeability instructors, training providers and grant recipients to work towards that ambition this and next year. Together, we can make sure that no child leaves school without the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to cycle.