The Scottish Government has today confirmed further investment of £900,000 to support the Rock Up & Ride programme, delivered by Scottish Cycling.
As the UCI 2023 Cycling World Championships hosted by Scotland draw close, the scheme is part of a major drive to ensure that there is a lasting legacy for everyday cycling after the event has concluded.
The scheme is also part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing access to bikes for school age children, who could otherwise not afford them. Rock Up & Ride was launched in 2021 and has run across eight regional sites and has delivered a series of fun, free and easy to access sessions aimed at children aged 7-14 years. These sessions link directly to a cycling club, aimed at delivering a long-term, sustainable increase in cycling activity and subsequently behavioural change.
This latest support will help to expand the offering to more sites across the country and allow the introduction of a new communities strand. This addition to the programme allows Scottish Cycling to support community groups in deprived areas, giving both adults and children access to bikes, either on a permanent basis or via bike libraries.
At a launch event held today (Thursday 20 July) at Pollok Park, Glasgow, a group of children from ANSAR (All Nations Sport Arts and Recreation) were put through their paces in a skills session that mirrors one of the four typical Rock Up & Ride sessions that teaches people, in a fun way, how to safely ride their bikes, before they get given their very own bike to keep.
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said:
“I’m pleased to announce further Scottish Government investment of £900,000 to support and expand Scottish Cycling’s popular Rock Up & Ride programme.
“This investment ahead of the first ever UCI Cycling World Championships will eliminate cost barriers to children, alongside barriers faced by parents and carers, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a bike.
“This initiative from Scottish Cycling is about cycling for everyone and will support the revolution in active travel that we need to see for our health, wellbeing and environment. To keep Scotland pedalling after the Championships, for shorter, everyday journeys – we have committed to invest at least £320 million, or 10% of the total transport budget, on active travel by 2024-25.”
Scottish Cycling Chief Executive Nick Rennie said:
“Today is a significant milestone for Scottish Cycling, and we are delighted that Transport Scotland has recognised the impact we are able to have in getting more people on bikes, increasing funding to our programmes and trusting us to deliver against key government objectives.
“It is absolutely vital that we continue to remove as many barriers as possible to cycling to ensure our sport truly represents the demographics of Scotland. I’ve been blown away by the impact of Rock Up & Ride in its first 18 months, seeing first-hand the difference it has made to young people and their families lives, especially those who never thought they’d see their child have or ride a bike. With further funding we are able to expand our offering and are committed to delivering further impact in more communities across Scotland, such as here in Glasgow today.”