The Mayor of London’s Vision for Cycling is now being actioned as the Borough Cycling Programme and should bring a big uplift in Bikeability activity in the capital over the next three and a half years. Great. However, this could be limited by the number of National Standards Instructors available to deliver it.
In the past, central Government made a £300 bursary available to cyclists getting trained as NSIs, but this was stopped a few years back. In the last two years, I have certainly noticed a drop off in the number of trained instructors approaching me for work and an increase in those looking to get trained and in search of some funding to assist with that. I imagine this scenario is repeated with other LAs and providers.
It would be a shame if London were not able to deliver training all the extra training due to lack of manpower. I also think this shortage will impact the Home Counties too, as with more work available at a higher rate in London, instructors who work just outside London will increasingly be drawn into the capital.
Yes, there is some money available in the Borough Cycling Programme that can be used to train NSIs - the guidance says this is for school staff. I don't think that would have a strong impact as they already have a job and would only be able to deliver a small amount of training. Better to train people without a job!
I don't think LAs will apply to fund NSIs who are not available to deliver. They would rather fund courses and projects, IMO.
Could TfL look to reinstate this bursary for Londoners?
Should it be the DfT who should do this?
Could TABS co-ordinate request for the reinstatement of the bursery?
There is now nine months until the greater part of the funding comes online, enough time to develop new instructors, but nine months will fly by.