A project run by Sustrans Scotland has seen a threefold rise in the number of girls cycling to school in participating schools. Cycling Industry News reports that 7.9 per cent of girls at schools supported by the I Bike programme reported cycling to school in 2018, compared to 2.8 per cent in 2008.
Established in 2009 and funded by the Scottish Government, I Bike has been run in a total of 375 schools, with more than 75,000 pupils involved.
The project is geared towards children and young people who are experiencing barriers to cycling participation, with a specific focus on addressing the drop in cycling from primary to secondary school, and also on the gender gap in rates of cycling.
Activities include cycle and scooter training, led rides, bike breakfasts, dress up your bike/scooter and road safety awareness.
The project currently has a team of 12 officers in 11 different local authority areas in Scotland, each working intensively with around eight selected primary and secondary schools per year.
After a first year of intensive engagement, officers provide schools with support and advice to continue their own programme of cycling-related activities for a second supported year, and they then offer at-a-distance support for a third year.
The Hands Up Scotland Survey data from 2016 found that 57.2 per cent of children arrive at I Bike schools via active travel compared to 46.6 per cent of children attending non-I Bike schools.