British Cycling has teamed up with Halton Borough Council to get school children across the area on their bikes.
The council has been awarded funding from the Department for Transport to develop the cycling skills of 600 primary school pupils and 50 secondary school pupils.
To achieve this, British Cycling will deliver Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Bikeability in schools across Halton throughout the academic year. Instructors will work with pupils aged between 10 and 14, to give them the skills and confidence to ride their bikes in a variety of on-road environments. The first Bikeability course of 2013 took place at Lunts Heath Primary School.
British Cycling’s Director of Coaching, Education and Development, John Mills, said: “This is the second year running that we have partnered with Halton Borough Council to deliver Bikeability. The aim is to provide children with the opportunity to develop bike handling skills, so they can confidently ride on the roads.
"Cycling offers a healthy, cost-effective alternative means of travel, which supports this council's aim of expanding people's transport choices."
Councillor John Stockton, Executive Board Member for Transportation, Halton Borough Council
“We hope to see the children get on their bikes instead of the bus when they travel to school this year!”
Bikeability training is delivered in line with the National Standard for Cycle Training. Pupils will be taught basic bike handling skills in an off-road environment, before progressing onto quiet local roads, where they can learn about road positioning and communication with other road users.
When the riders progress to Level 3 Bikeability, they will use roads, junctions and roundabouts in Halton with higher volumes of traffic – focusing on those that the pupils are likely to use to make cycling trips following the course. Bikeability is delivered in a way which builds knowledge and confidence, enabling the pupils to apply their new skills in a range of traffic environments when they become regular, independent cyclists.
Councillor John Stockton, Executive Board Member for Transportation, said: "Cycling offers a healthy, cost-effective alternative means of travel, which supports this council's aim of expanding people's transport choices. However, it’s important that children learn to ride safely and Bikeability is the 'cycling proficiency for the 21st century’ - the scheme that gives children the skills and confidence they need to cycle in modern road conditions. I wholeheartedly support the Bikeability initiative, which is being delivered by British Cycling in Halton.”
For further information on Cycle Training and Bikeability, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/cycletraining.