Environment

Bikeability cycle training for 7,000 children in Devon

Photo of cyclistCyclist

Posted on: 22 October 2019

Bikeability cycle training will be provided to more than 7,000 children in Devon next year thanks to a successful bid by Devon County Council.

Devon is receiving a £280,000 grant through the initiative as part of the Government’s announcement of £13 million funding nationwide for next year’s programme.

Bikeability offers three levels of training, providing children with important cycling skills and confidence to help them cycle more safely and more often.

Devon County Council has helped almost 80,000 children to take part in the cycle training since 2006. They are among more than three million young people nationally that have undertaken the training.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “It’s a great achievement to have made another successful bid for Bikeability funding and over the years we’ve been able to secure a total of more than £2.75 million to deliver cycle training in Devon. Bikeability has always proven extremely popular in the county and an incredible amount of young people have taken part in the training.

“If those taking part in Bikeability make cycling a part of their daily life for getting to school or for taking regular exercise then not only does it benefit their health but it also benefits the environment, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.”

Secondary schools are being reminded that they are able to host free Bikeability Level 3 courses, which is the final stage of the training. This equips trainees with skills for more challenging roads and situations where traffic is busier, in order to understand driver blind spots and how to pass queuing traffic. Level 3 training is delivered in groups of up to three.

Free two-hour cycle confidence sessions are also available to adults to either help them learn to ride a bike or brush up on their cycling skills. Sessions can also provide advice on suitable routes and offer tips for riding as a family.

For more information go to the Travel Devon website or visit the Bikeability website. Alternatively email cycletraining@devon.gov.uk or call 0345 155 1004.

3 comments on “Bikeability cycle training for 7,000 children in Devon

  1. Colin Savage says:

    Barbara,
    Thanks for your positive comments. The main benefit of Bikeability, over the old cycle proficiency scheme, is that Levels 2 and 3 are actually delivered on roads near the schools so very real situations with live traffic. Also Bikeability has to be delivered by qualified instructors who need to go through a very rigorous training programme.

    Transition Tavistock,
    Thanks for your nice comments too. Normally, the Government make an award offer for a few years which does allow a bit more security. However, at the end of funding periods(as it is on 31st March 2020) it is not uncommon to fund just one year. Bikeability on the school curriculum? Not many arguments in cycling circles about that but would require a much higher level of Gov’t funding to ensure every child could access. It would also need to beat off other organisations who would like other equally beneficial life skills / subjects vying to get a place on the curriculum.

    As Phillip Darnton OBE Executive Director of the Bicycle Association said many years ago in relation to children, cycling and preparing them for adulthood and with a nod to swimming lessons for children “You can’t swim to the bank”

  2. Barbara Cumberlidge says:

    The Cycling Proficiency Test was given by Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and served as a minimum recommended standard for cycling on British roads. It has been superseded by the new National Standards for Cycle Training, branded ‘Bikeability’ in England. The National Cycling Proficiency Scheme was introduced by the Government in 1958, with statutory responsibility for road safety being given to local authorities in 1974, including the provision of child cyclist training. I attended cycling proficiency training at my primary school and my Dad, who was a traffic police Inspector, was one of the volunteer instructors. You got a badge and certificate. It was great fun, with ramps and cones and other road awareness props. It taught you how to control the bike, maintain the bike and keep safe on the road.

  3. Transition Tavistock (Travel Action Group Co-ordinator) says:

    This is good news, and congratulations to Devon CC for obtaining the funding and making the links to healthy people and environment. However it’s a pity that teaching such a fundamental skill is reliant on annual bids and special schemes.

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