TRL has been appointed by The Bikeability Trust, which administers the government’s national cycling training programme, to monitor and evaluate the success of 43 newly commissioned projects funded by The Trust’s ‘Widening Participation Fund’. The scheme is a critical component of the government’s ‘Gear Change’ policy, to encourage an increase in cycling and walking over the next decade. Within this project, TRL will conduct a process evaluation of the delivery methods adopted to draw out key learnings, and an impact evaluation to assess the outcomes against the overall aims of the Widening Participation Fund.
The Bikeability Trust, which administers Bikeability on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), has the aim of giving every child the opportunity to learn how to cycle. A tranche of funding has been allocated to the new Widening Participation Fund, which has the specific aim to develop pilot projects which target groups of children who are currently underrepresented in Bikeability training, increasing participation in these groups and contributing to an improved propensity for cycling across the nation. The Widening Participation Fund has four priority areas in which uptake of Bikeability is low, mainly in areas of deprivation, amongst specific ethnic backgrounds, in delivery of Level 3 training, and amongst female teenagers.
Bikeability held a competition to fund projects to address these issues. 43 chosen projects are running over a 12-month period. TRL has been appointed as an independent organisation to monitor and evaluate the success of these 43 projects, to conduct a process evaluation to understand how the projects were delivered and in particular the methods of recruitment and engagement used in each project. In addition, the impact evaluation will independently assess whether the funded projects increased participation in Bikeability training programmes, and the subsequent propensity to cycle amongst groups of children who did not previously have access to Bikeability.
“TRL is delivering this evaluation to provide The Bikeability Trust with a strong standard of evidence on the effectiveness, impact and success of the projects, which will inform the business case for additional Bikeability funding from the DfT,” says Dr George Beard, Head of New Mobility at TRL. “Our experience and expertise span the areas which are core to this work, including monitoring and evaluation, cycling and active travel, understanding and catering for the needs of underrepresented groups, mode shift and behaviour change.”
As part of the project, TRL has produced a logic map, evaluation framework and robust data collection approach for assessing the Bikeability projects. In addition to mapping objective outcome measures, the approach includes collection of in-depth qualitative data for subjective outcome measures to address key questions such as:
- Which interventions had the greatest impact, and for which groups? Which are most likely to influence future cycling behaviour?
- How effective was project delivery, and can the projects be scaled up in future?
"We have tasked TRL with independently assessing whether the funded projects increased participation in Bikeability training programmes, and the subsequent propensity to cycle amongst groups of children currently underrepresented in Bikeability training,” says Emily Cherry, Chief Executive of The Bikeability Trust. “This work is very important for assessing the impact of our Widening Participation Fund projects, ensuring our investments are utilised effectively and we are able to meet our mission,” she continues.
To learn more about The Bikeability Trust, visit: https://bikeabilitytrust.org/