New funding aims to encourage more women, young people and those with disabilities to cycle

British Cycling has been given a major boost in its admirable aim of getting more people on bikes.

Sport England has granted a £5.69million cash injection to the governing body to encourage more women, young people and people with disabilities to cycle.

The aim is to reach a mass audience over the next two years and encourage those who cycle less than once a week to dig out the bike and get pedalling.

Sport England has also awarded £15million to be injected into local community cycling facilities as part of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, due to be held in Yorkshire later this year.

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British Cycling strategy director Martin Merryweather said: “This funding award is fantastic news, and gives us additional momentum and impetus as we look forward to 2019, building on British Cycling’s reputation for successfully combining elite success and increased participation.

“It is our intention to continue to develop and evolve programmes which effectively inspire people from all walks of life to take up cycling, through industry-leading research, insight and dedication.”

British Cycling’s HSBC UK Breeze Project is on target to encourage one million more women to cycle by 2020, the organisation said, while the HSBC UK Read Set Ride initiative is aiding parents and teachers in teaching children to ride.

The Disability Hubs, also sponsored by HSBC, offer coaching and development for riders with physical or learning disabilities.

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Director of sport at Sport England, Phil Smith said: “13 million people in England have bikes but don’t cycle regularly, citing a lack of confidence and feeling unsafe on the roads as barriers that put them off.

“The 2017 investment we made into British Cycling has already prompted huge increase in participation of its programmes with a focus on clear gains to people’s health, mental wellbeing and individual development.

“We’re delighted to be offering British Cycling further investment to develop its programmes further and improve the cycling infrastructure with partnerships with the Department of Transport and the National Trust.”