We at The Optimist Daily are big fans of cycling—it’s good for your mental and physical health, and it’s a better mode of transportation for our planet.
So, it’s no surprise that we are happy to report that the Scottish government is planning on releasing six pilot schemes that will provide free bikes to children who would otherwise be unable to afford them.
According to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the pilot projects will be launched officially in the first 100 days of her new government. The new schemes will trial a mix of ownership, loan, and subscription models in varying regions in the country including northeast of Glasgow, Angus, and Forth Valley.
These projects will run for an entire year and will also be joined by other projects before Transport Scotland analyzes the results and figures out which schemes had the best results and would work best in the rollout.
“The pilots are going to help us develop this over a year and then we’ll evaluate it, I think pretty quickly,” says Transport Minister Graeme Dey. “I think we’ll have a good idea where we stand and we’ll get moving on it.”
To Mr. Dey, the benefits of making bicycles more accessible to children are clear:
“It ensures equality of opportunity in building life skills, confidence, independence, and embeds healthy and sustainable travel habits from a young age,” he says.
Cultivating and encouraging sustainable habits in all people, and especially in children, is critical to the ongoing efforts to protect our planet and the future of humanity.