‘Pedal Ready’ struggles for Sheffield funding

A lack of funding for cycling confidence scheme ‘Pedal Ready’ has resulted in planned termination of their free Sheffield bike services. 

The group, which has been funding itself since April of last year, is now being forced to cease ‘virtually all cycle training in Sheffield’ at the end of February due to a lack of finances.

Sheffield Council’s transport department, which manages the funding, has yet to send out another tender for organisations such as Pedal Ready to bid for, and have not extended Pedal Ready’s previous contract during this waiting period.

Jeff Carroll, a director of Pedal Ready, said: “We carried on funding it ourselves with the expectation a new contract for us to bid for would be available any day, but the days turned into months and now it looks like years.”

Although the contract was granted a year-long extension from March 2020 following the Coronavirus Pandemic, it has not yet been renewed after expiring in March 2021. 

Initially offering free bike services for women only, in the last five years the company has provided help for everyone. These ‘Learn to Ride’ sessions run on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with a women’s only event on Friday mornings.

Pedal Ready also operates in Doncaster and Rotherham, where council’s ‘seem to have found the time and money’ to allow the scheme to continue offering services in these areas, Mr Carroll said.

Although Pedal Ready have been told a new Sheffield contract is ‘on the table’, it still requires ‘signing off by more senior people’, he added. 

The organisation’s most recent Sheffield event was their ‘Abbeyfield Bike Party’, held yesterday at Abbeyfield Park, where much of their training is provided.

The event, which offered ‘family friendly fun’ as well as providing free bike checks, plans to occur again at the same location on Friday 18 February

It was organised by both Pedal Ready South Yorkshire and the Brambles Housing Co-operative as part of the Great Bike Revival, which aims to make cycling more accessible to everyone.

For more information regarding this event, contact 07391090096.

Sheffield Council has been contacted for comment.

Written by Emma Dunlop

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