Reflecting and planning ahead

Glasgow – It’s been a long year where we haven’t been able to access our bikes and facilities but we’re hopeful that there’s now light at the end of the tunnel. Our instructors will be focusing on supporting nurseries with Play on Pedals sessions and we’ll review community sessions once we’re fully out of lockdown.

We continue to be funded by Glasgow City Council through Paths for All Smarter Choices, Smarter Place funding programme, as part of the Glasgow Community Cycling Network.

Edinburgh – We’re thankful to Transport Scotland for the funding that enabled us to kick-start Play Together on Pedals in Edinburgh in 2018-2020. We worked with a range of partners – the council’s early years department, nurseries, community groups, active travel delivery partners and Cycling UK’s Edinburgh All Ability Bike Centre, to enable more children and families to get cycling.

The funding enabled us to train 150 people – nursery staff and community volunteers – to deliver Play on Pedals in nurseries, community groups and at drop in sessions. We distributed bikes and helmets to nurseries and groups which gave over 4000 children access to learn to cycle. Over 80 different settings across the city are now equipped to deliver Play on Pedals to 3-5 year olds and our pre-schoolers drop in sessions were attended by around 1400 children.

We attended events across the city – national play days, active travel festivals, cycle fairs, eco fairs, taster sessions and conferences. We ran family rides alongside Sustrans and our monthly Bike Curious family workshops, where folks could drop in and try out a range of family biking options from e-cargo bikes/trikes to trailers, tag-alongs and child seats. All helped to give families options and information on how to cycle in their own specific circumstances.

We’re actively seeking funding to resume drop in sessions, family rides and workshops in the city.

East Lothian and Scottish Borders

Transport Scotland funding transferred from Edinburgh to East Lothian and Scottish Borders areas in April 2020, just after Covid hit. It’s been a challenging year and we’ve had to curtail a lot of what we planned.

Realising we wouldn’t be able to use our bikes through the spring and early summer, we got fleets out to some of the hub nurseries local to our development officer and loaned our adult bikes to key workers.

During the brief breaks in restrictions, the staff at Olivebank Children’s Centre and several East Lothian Community Centres have received training to deliver Play on Pedals. We halved our usual numbers on these training courses to allow for social distancing.

Some families have borrowed specific pieces of kit to try but we’ve been unable to run the planned workshops.

Once restrictions eased in the second half of the summer holidays, we ran some family bike sessions with one family group at a time, then managed some bookable balance bike sessions for pre-schoolers. To limit unnecessary travel, these sessions were run in the nearest catchment town to our instructors.

Our funding year has now ended and money that couldn’t be used was diverted into the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme.

As with Edinburgh, we’d love to continue what we’ve started here and roll out Play Together on Pedals in many other local authorities across the country. Smarter Choices Smarter Places funding is being put to great use by Glasgow City Council. If you’d like to see Play Together on Pedals in your area, this could be a way to make it work there.

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