Cycle-safe kids will get ‘Bikeability’ badges07/09/2006 News
Many adults will remember doing their Cycling Proficiency Test. Bikeability is designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today’ roads.
Bikeability – previewed on last night’s Newsnight in the Ethical Man slot – will initially be trialled with 3000 children across England with a national rollout of the scheme from Spring 2007. The aim is that by 2009 half of all year six pupils in England will be trained through schemes awarding Bikeability.
To get their Bikeability award, children and adults will be instructed on how to ride their bikes to the Government-approved National Standard for Cycle Training, which sets out the training and skills essential for making cycling trips in today’ road conditions.
The Bikeability award will consist of a luminous metal badge, booklet, certificate and a letter to parents.
Phillip Darnton, chair of Cycling England, the independent body administering Bikeability, said:
“This is a really important announcement for cycling, the culmination of five years work by Cycling England and our partners. Bikeability will give children the necessary skills and knowledge needed to cycle safely throughout the rest of their life.
“But Bikeability is more than just teaching children to ride a bike. It’ also about introducing them to cycling as a key activity â€“ an everyday mode of transport, an enjoyable pastime, which brings a healthier lifestyle and is ultimately lots of fun. Bikeability will give children a life skill that once they’ve learnt, they will never forget.
“The great joy of cycling is like no other healthy activity or sport: it begins and ends at your own front door.”
Steve Whitehouse of the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association (LARSOA) said: “Bikeability is an excellent way of promoting safe cycling to children and adults, and builds on the work of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and local authorities over several decades to establish cycling proficiency. Parents will now be able to feel reassured that when their children cycle to school they have the necessary skills to make the journey safely.”
Kevin Mayne, director of CTC, said: “CTC set out a strategy in 2002 which said Government should be supporting recognised schemes of high quality cycle training with direct funding. The launch of the Bikeability award is the realisation of the strategy and is the final step in ensuring the uptake of quality cycle training across England.”
Cycling England’ cross-Departmental Government Group support the scheme as it helps meet a wide range of Government objectives. It is endorsed by the Department for Transport because “cycling plays a key role within an integrated transport strategy, alongside public transport, especially for shorter journeys to work and school.”
It is supported by the Department of Health because “cycling offers an easy, convenient form of exercise that can be built into our everyday lives and can deliver significant health benefits for people of all ages.”
The Department for Education and Skills endorses Bikeability because “cycling to school is one of the easiest ways for our children to lead more active and healthier lives.
The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs is behind Bikeability because “cycling is as good for the environment (especially the air quality of our towns & cities) as it is for our health.”
It is supported by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport because “cycling is an â€˜everyday sport’ that can be taken up by everyone, producing a fitter, healthier nation and the champions of the future.”The three Bikeability levels are:
Level 1 is usually covered in a traffic free environment. By completing Level 1, you will be able to demonstrate the skills and understanding to be able to make a trip and undertake activities safely in a motor traffic free environment and as a pre-requisite to a road trip.
Level 2 is covered on quiet roads but with real traffic conditions. By completing Level 2 you will be able to demonstrate the skills and understanding to be able to make a trip safely to school, work or leisure on quiet roads.
Level 3 is covered on busy roads incorporating real traffic conditions and advanced road features. By completing Level 3 you will be able demonstrate the skills and understanding to be able to make a trip safely to school, work or leisure on busy roads and using complex junctions and road features
The roll out of Bikeability is supported by a £1m programme delivered by CTC Charitable Trust for Cycling England to aid more instructors to qualify to the CTC Approved standard recognised by over 20 road safety and cycling organisations.
The National Cycle Training Helpline also supports instructors and training organisers and helps the public, employers and schools find qualified instructors in their area.
Tel: 0870 607 0415.