Cycle Training UK promotes cycling as a form of transport that can be enjoyed by all, whatever their age, ability or level of mobility. They deliver urban cycling sessions to individuals, schools, workplaces and organisations, also offering maintenance sessions, instructor courses and driver training. The group work closely with a number of London boroughs to provide these services.
The Ride Side-by-Side project gives people who would normally rely on carers, Dial-a-Ride or subsidised taxis a different way to get out and about. Users are given a comfortable ride on a bespoke two-seater, four-wheel, power-assisted bicycle which is piloted by a qualified instructor from Cycle Training UK.
Passengers can book the service for periods of up to 2 hours through an online form or by phone, and people choose to use the service for many different reasons. Some book a slot to do their weekly shopping, while others simply enjoy taking a scenic route around the park. Passengers can choose to pedal as little or as much as they would like, allowing them to build up strength and fitness. A number of regular passengers use it purely for exercise, with one using their regular slot to do laps of Hackney Marshes.
The service has been promoted in a number of different ways, including local press, online and through flyering in public buildings (such as GP surgeries and libraries). The group found that holding road shows at sheltered accommodation centres is a particularly effective way of getting the word out to potential users of the service.
Cycle Training UK has been able to secure further funding from the Department for Transport to purchase additional bikes. They aim to expand the project both within Hackney and across other London boroughs. The group hope that in the future they may be able to offer the service on 4 seater cycles, allowing families to ride along with the usual passengers.
Find out more at www.cycletraining.co.uk