On your bike!

Cycling England ‘Bikeability’ Campaign

With cycling becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transport, as a form of exercise and as a way to have fun, the need for cycle training has never been greater.

With this in mind, September 06 saw the launch of  ‘Bikeability’, a new cycle proficiency scheme for the 21st Century and the biggest change in cycle training since the 1940s. The main aim of Bikeability is to give children the necessary skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely in modern road conditions. Although most of us will remember our Cycling Proficiency tests fondly, that sort of formal training is very out of date.

The broadcast campaign was created as a means to spread the news about the launch of Bikeability to parents, grandparents and children throughout England and to drive them to the Bikeability website for more information (www.bikeability.org.uk)

Bikeability is being trialled with 5,000 children across England before a national roll out of the scheme from Spring 2007.  The aim is that by 2009, 100,000 children a year – half of all year six pupils – will have the chance to get the new award. Although this is a fantastic opportunity, the challenge was to encourage stations to cover the story at launch and not wait until the scheme was rolled out in their area. In order to aid the sell in, Blue Rubicon provided us with a spokesperson called Kevin Mayne on behalf of Cycling England, the independent body backed by government that is responsible for Bikeability. Kevin who was able to give an enthusiastic, informative and independent view of the scheme and of the difference it will make to children across England.

As well as giving details about the launch of the scheme, we also wanted to be able to provide more detail about the three Bikeability levels, starting at level one for basic off road handling and progressing to level three which involves complex junctions and route planning. We therefore used a pre recorded audio feature which not only gave us more scope for coverage without the need for more of Kevin’s time but also provided a more extended feature style piece which could be offered to stations whose programming allowed for a higher proportion of speech and hence a greater level of detail. The radio interviews were then offered both as feature and as news to ensure that we could secure as much coverage as possible.

The campaign secured coverage on 19 BBC stations, IRN, LBC and a multitude of regional and local commercial stations which brought the number of items of coverage up to over 90 with a combined weekly reach of 6.9 million. The client commented: ‘It was an amazingly successful radio campaign and we were more than pleased with the result.'