Sustrans’ Access to Bikes (A2B) programme arrived in Scotland in summer 2021.
Funded by Transport Scotland, A2B is based in 3 local authorities, working alongside the Sustrans’ I Bike project, to provide bikes and cycling opportunities for children & young people.
Dedicated staff are managing fleets of bikes, stored in large containers at 6 schools. So far, 102 bikes have been loaned out to children who may not otherwise have the chance to cycle. The fleet bikes have been used with school groups for 198 cycling activities, such as learn to cycle, cycling skills and led rides.
“Volunteers were paramount to getting A2B started, I would not like to think how I would have got up and running without them.”
Ian Grey, A2B Project Officer, Dumfries
Having the A2B programme working alongside I Bike has enhanced our schools volunteering offer. Eight volunteers have got involved already; we provide the training and mentoring for them, and we are looking long-term into enabling volunteers and school staff to lead on the upkeep of the bike fleets.
Six volunteers helped the staff team with building 120 fleet bikes in Aberdeenshire and Dumfries – a mammoth effort by all! In West Lothian, the loan bikes have already replaced 18 hours of motorised travel, including pupils cycling to their science trips at the zoo, instead of going by minibus.
“We are finding that volunteers are keen to progress from a Bronze Velotech bike maintenance qualification to a Silver as they gain more confidence!” Anna Whealing, Project Officer, I Bike Volunteering.
“Volunteers are being integrated into the A2B project to provide both maintenance and delivery support to the schools. From enthusiasm to expertise, their involvement also helps the project grow into the local community.”
Maurizio Carlino-Rackett, A2B Project Officer, West Lothian.