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Livingston community group helps disabled people get cycling

May 24, 2021

After applying for Cycling Friendly Community development grant funding, a programme funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by Cycling Scotland, West Lothian Bike Library has been able to purchase another adaptive bike suitable for people with physical disabilities to add to their fleet.

David Liddell, founding member of West Lothian Bike Library, reports that physical disabilities are a huge barrier to cycling for many people. Alongside cycle training for all abilities and equipment support, the organisation runs an inclusive cycling scheme with a pool of adaptive bikes for people with additional support needs. 

Research on access to bikes in 2020 showed that only 18% of bike schemes offered loan of adaptive bikes for people with disabilities in Scotland. Adaptive bikes can be costly, as they are specialist-made. The funding has allowed West Lothian Bike Library to expand the range of sizes of adaptive bikes in their fleet so that people of all sizes and heights have an opportunity to cycle. Their fleet of adaptive bikes has now grown to one of the largest in the country. 

West Lothian Bike Library has achieved the Cycling Friendly Community Gold award in recognition of their inclusive outreach projects to promote cycling for all, and their dedication to improving long-term cycling development in the area. David says: “We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for Cycling Scotland giving us backing. We’re very proud to have the Gold award - and we make sure people know that we have it!”

Sandra Lavergne, Cycling Friendly Community Development Officer at Cycling Scotland, says:

“Communities who want to increase opportunities for people to cycle can apply for the Cycling Friendly Community fund. The funding can be used to increase access to bikes or to install facilities that make cycling more accessible for the community, regardless of people’s ability, background, or financial situation.

“Encouraging cycling in the community can bring people together, build skills and confidence, and address inequalities. West Lothian Bike Library are doing an incredible job at creating opportunities for disabled people to cycle and we strongly support their vision in breaking down barriers.

“We’d encourage any interested groups with ideas on increasing cycling in their communities to get in touch to discuss available support and opportunities.”

The Cycling Friendly Community fund is now open and accepting applications, subject to available funds. Find out more here. Workplaces, secondary schools and social housing providers can also apply.

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