Devon celebrates 50,000th Bikeability trainee

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Harry Pitman, Headteacher Lesley Hodgson and Cllr Nick Way

Posted on: 18 January 2017

Bikeability cycle training in Devon has reached a major milestone, with 50,000 children now having taken part in the scheme.

Bow Primary School pupil Harry Pitman is the 50,000th Bikeability trainee in the county, and to mark the occasion Devon County Council, which provides the training, presented him with a special certificate and a Bike Shed voucher.

Schoolchildren who take part in Bikeability are equipped with skills to help them deal confidently with traffic on short journeys, such as cycling to school.

Harry Pitman, aged 10, achieved Bikeability Level 2 in October. He said: “Bikeability is a really good idea. Going out on the roads was really great, especially as I cycle to school. I learnt which part of the road to ride on, how to overtake parked cars safely, by looking over my shoulder first, how to turn left and to signal first.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “Congratulations to Harry on being our 50,000th trainee, and we must also say thanks to the tens of thousands of others who have taken part in Bikeability in Devon over the years to help us reach this fantastic milestone. It’s an incredible achievement. We’ve been very successful in receiving funding from the Department for Transport to deliver Bikeability, and we are on course to train 10,000 children this financial year. The scheme has become an integral part of our sustainable transport planning over the years. Bikeability provides essential cycling skills and confidence to the next generation of cyclists while also helping to improve their road safety awareness.”

Lesley Hodgson, Headteacher at Bow Community Primary School, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we can offer this valuable life skill to the pupils at Bow Primary School. For our children, who live in a rural location, being road aware is an essential life skill, one that they can use on a daily basis as they cycle to and from school and continue to use, long after they have left our school. The fact that Bow pupils enjoy the course so much is a real bonus; what’s more, children can participate even if they don’t have a bike of their own, as the Bikeability tutors will bring spare bikes to the school, providing everyone who wants to learn the opportunity to do so. I’m very proud of the school’s commitment in supporting our young people in their development of an essential life-long skill, and thrilled that one of our pupils – Harry Pitman – is the 50,000th participant to have passed through the Bikeability scheme.”

Councillor Nick Way

Councillor Nick Way, County Councillor for Crediton Rural, said: “Encouraging young people to cycle and be safe on the road is very important. Schools such as Bow, that encourage pupils to participate in the Bikeability scheme and the young people themselves who participate in the scheme, need to be thanked. Apart from the importance of road safety, cycling has great benefits for our local environment.”

Nationally, more than two million young people have taken part in Bikeability training since its launch almost ten years ago.

Over the past nine years, Devon County Council has successfully bid for nearly £2 million to deliver cycle training in Devon. The County Council has also received funding to deliver new “Bikeability Plus” modules, such as Bikeability Balance, Bikeability Parents and Bikeability Learn to Ride, to nearly 900 children.

To book Bikeability courses in your school or for information on our March Bikeability Instructor course click here.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment