2020 Bikeability Awards: Joint Runner Up – LA/SGO Host School Partner of the Year – Lincolnshire Council

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A national Bikeability award programme is held every year to reward and promote the amazing work that the Bikeability industry and trainees do.   Further background.

Local Authorities and SGO Host Schools are dedicated to ensuring that as much Bikeability training as possible is delivered in their area and that the delivery is promoted to, and supported by the local community. They also provide essential support for, and communication between themselves, providers, instructors as well as schools.   The story of the role Lincolnshire County Council plays in the delivery of Bikeability training highlights what a contribution this sector makes and explains why Lincolnshire County Council is such a worthy Runner Up of the Local Authority/SGO Host School Partner of the Year 2020 Award.

Lincolnshire County Council genuinely care about the impact of Bikeability. They have established an effective relationship with their delivery partner, Outspoken Training, built around robust monitoring.

A Project Officer (trained as National Standard Instructor Trainer) conducts termly observations of training to assess the quality and consistency of delivery. This is done alongside an Outspoken Instructor Trainer with both identifying good practice and looking for opportunities to develop the training and impact of the programme.

Quarterly, both organisations meet up to analyse contract performance against a contract management scoring system and examine how resources can be used effectively to maximise the impact of training.

The council recognise Bikeability can play a large role in supporting and driving cycling projects. Examples include the development of the Holbeach and Spalding Cycling Plans where Bikeability is seen as an effective measure to get more people cycling alongside the introduction of cycling infrastructure. This increases the exposure of Bikeability to local communities at consultations meetings, helping to raise the profile of cycle training throughout Lincolnshire.

Due to the popularity of Bikeability in Lincolnshire, the demand for Level 2 training exceeds the funding the council receives. To overcome this, a Project Officer worked tirelessly alongside senior management and the executive portfolio holder to introduce school contributions towards training. The council recognised to make a success of contributions, they had to positively market Bikeability, celebrating the success and impact of the programme locally as well as the benefits of introducing contributions. They coordinated a process starting with a letter from the council to all Headteachers, backed up with joint marketing campaigns by the council and Outspoken Training. This has resulted in an extra 33 schools and 812 pupils receiving training since September 2019 with an anticipated extra 1,124 pupils participating in the next financial year.

The Council are keen to provide equal opportunities to all schools across their diverse and wide geographical spread of communities. They closely analysis bookings monthly to ensure these are offered equally, countywide and ensure take up is spread evenly around the county, even in the most rural communities. This helps fulfil their countywide Cycling Strategy to support Bikeability and develop confident cyclists from an early age to establish Lincolnshire as a rural ‘beacon’ for cycling and Bikeability training.

The council have gone the extra mile to support children to make journeys by bicycle. An example of this was when their Domestic Abuse team identified a child who would benefit from cycle training as they had begun cycling to school without the skills or knowledge to do so confidently. As a result, the Project Officer agreed to fund some one-to-one training for the child and liaised with Outspoken Training to provide tailored Level 1 and 2 training with some route specific training as well. This transformed the child into a competent rider who now loves cycling to school and the shops.

To show their support for Bikeability, Lincolnshire County Council volunteered a Project Officer’s time to come and speak to other councils at last year’s Bikeability conference about the role of a commissioning local authority and the process of outsourcing and monitoring training. This was well received and the feedback demonstrates how effective the council have been at putting policies and procedures in place to ensure high-quality, effective training is delivered.

Finally, the council recognise the benefits of cycle training to people of all ages and are one of the few local authorities to subsidise adult cycle training outside of London. Recently they have offered training to Lincoln residents and businesses as well as hospital staff across the county.

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