We’re delighted to present our brand new project – “Get Somerset Cycling!” – which has just launched in September 2021. As initiatives go, it does exactly what it says on the tin. What makes it really special is the variety of opportunities on offer, delivered in partnership with some fantastic local organisations...
Thanks to local projects like The Bridgwater Way, there are a growing number of cycle paths and infrastructure schemes in Somerset. Since the pandemic, we have seen a large increase in the number of people who have given cycling a try - due to its health and environmental benefits. It really is the time to get cycling – or give it another go!
From getting a bike - to building confidence and planning routes - to even helping others get cycling, we’re here to support people at every stage of their cycling journey. And we want to break down the barriers to cycling that some people face.
Bikes for everyone!
Demand for bikes has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. However, many people on low incomes have been locked out of the bike market due to high costs and increased pressure on already-squeezed finances.
Our bike voucher scheme gives low-income Somerset residents £100 off the price of a professionally refurbished bicycle from our partners, On Your Bike. Our vouchers can be redeemed on a quality, refurbished bicycle from On Your Bike’s Bridgwater or Taunton workshops. Because many of their bikes are priced at around £100, this could mean a completely free bike, to help you get to local jobs, training or services.
Pedal with confidence
Cycling doesn’t have to be scary, sweaty or stressful! We’re here to show it can be easy and fun! Our qualified instructors have an excellent knowledge of your local area, helping you discover cycle-friendly routes and sharing top tips for a stress-free journey.
If you’re aged 18+ and live in Somerset, you can have up to three, FREE, one-to-one sessions. We can help people of all abilities to build skills and confidence in all aspects of cycling: From learning to ride to low-traffic route planning to advanced road skills. We will offer a variety of meet points, so you can pick a spot local to your home, college or workplace.
Become a cycle-friendly organisation
More cycling in our communities means cleaner air and healthier people. The great news is; local organisations can now help to improve facilities for cyclists – without spending a single penny.
Our Take a Stand® scheme supplies, delivers and installs secure cycle parking to local organisations completely free of charge. This is a great way to attract more visitors by providing for the increasing number of cyclists – whilst helping to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in your community. Independent businesses and community organisations can claim up to 4 Sheffield stands at zero cost, to support a “green Covid recovery” for Somerset.
Borrow an eBike (coming Autumn/Winter 2021)
We’re gathering a small fleet of e-bikes to loan to local people, free of charge. This project is aimed at people who are particularly isolated, or who may struggle to use a pushbike due to age or health issues. Due to global shortages of e-bikes, we’re having to wait to get our fleet together, but we’ll be releasing more information towards the end of the year.
Making Cycling Sustainable
Get Somerset Cycling is a three-year project, but we’ve designed it to ensure its effects last much longer: We’ll be working with our partners to strengthen the Cycling Sector in Somerset by training bicycle mechanics and cycling instructors.
- We’ll be training 24 new cycle mechanics - supporting them to earn a City & Guilds qualification so they can transform bikes destined for landfill into quality cycles for local people.
- We’ll be training 6 new cycling instructors through our 1st4Sport accredited scheme so they can support kids in schools and adults of all ages to cycle confidently wherever they want, whenever they want.
Our CEO, Ed Norton, says:
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to bring our expertise and projects to Somerset. It’s an area with some huge developments happening and has great potential to really feel the benefits of cycling.
We believe that with the right support, everyone can discover the joys of cycling and ultimately reap the benefits not only to their own lives but also to the communities they live in. These projects will reach hundreds of Somerset residents over the next three years but the benefits of cycling, and the positive impact on the local environment, will last far into the future.”
These projects are supported by the HPC Community Fund, Somerset Community Foundation and the National Grid Community Grands and will be delivered over three years.