Over 200,000 children to benefit from £10m of cycle training
London, 31 March/GNN/ -- DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (041) issued by COI News Distribution Over 200,000 more school children in England will have the opportunity to have Bikeability training this year thanks to £10m of government funding, earmarked today by Transport Minister Paul Clark as part of the official launch of Bikeability for 2009. This funding is part of a record £140m package which aims to give up to half a million children the chance to take part in Bikeability - the National Cycle Training Standard - by 2012.
Whilst visiting cycling schemes in the North West Paul Clark said; "Having the skills to cycle to school and make other local journeys has never been more important, especially as it helps children and young people reach the 60 minutes of activity recommended by the Government's 'Change4Life' campaign. "That's why I'm so pleased that by this time next year 350,000 children will have done their Bikeability training, which puts us ahead of our target to deliver 500,000 additional training places by 2012. "I will be doing my own Bikeability training next week and, like the children I've met today, I look forward to hopefully receiving my Bikeability badge."
With 41% of all trips in England being less than two miles, a distance which can be cycled in less than 15 minutes, cycling has a major role to play in promoting sustainable travel and improving health and fitness. Bikeability allows children to learn essential road safety skills and gain greater awareness of the dangers on the road - giving parents the reassurance to allow them to undertake short journeys, especially cycling to school.
This funding supports the continued development of Bikeability training
which is promoted in England by Cycling England. £5.4m will go to local
authorities to provide Bikeability cycle training; £4m will go to the Youth
Sport Trust to deliver cycle training in schools through the School Sports
Partnerships; and £500,000 will be given as bursary grants to help fund
1,600 new Bikeability trainers.
Philip Darnton Chairman of Cycling England said; "We are determined to make 2009 the year of Bikeability and this funding is a tremendous start. Learning to ride a bike is a life skill and with the engagement of local authorities and the School Sport Partnerships around the country, we are working to give all young people the opportunity to get Bikeability training within the next 3 years"
Bikeability is supported by the
18 cycling demonstration areas programme which promotes cycling and spreads
best practice for other areas to learn from as well as a further 70 local
highway authorities outside of London and Transport for London. Department
for Transport is also working to improve travel links to schools, connecting
500 schools via traffic calmed or traffic-free routes to the wider national
cycle network by 2011.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Bikeability scheme is a new training standard designed to provide children with the on-road skills they need to handle modern traffic conditions. It was launched in March 2007. See http://www.bikeability.org.uk
2. Paul Clark made this announcement whilst visiting two schemes in the North West; Stanley Park in Blackpool and Skelton Primary School nr Penrith.
3. Bikeability has been designed and developed by leading experts in the road safety and cycling fields including RoSPA, Local Authority Road Safety Officers (LARSOA) and the CTC. It is based on similar principles to lessons for motorcycles, allowing cyclists to assess risks and obstacles faced on the road.
4. It involves a higher standard of cycle training, including an on-road element and is designed to give confidence and skills to deal with today's road conditions. Bikeability teaches more than how to control a bike, helping people assess the risks and obstacles they are likely to face when cycling.
Bikeability consists of 3 levels of training:-
- Level 1: aimed at 7-9 year olds is off road and teaches basic cycling and balances skills;
- Level 2: aimed at 10-11 years introduces on-road training building on the first level.
- Level 3: aimed at older children/ adults. Includes tackling difficult road features (e.g. roundabouts) and the safe use of cycle facilities.
5. The Change4Life campaign, launched 23rd July 2008, is a coalition between Government, industry partners, NGOs, parents and communities aimed at preventing obesity in under 11 year olds by encouraging healthy eating and activity levels from birth. For more information please go to www.change4life.co.uk.
6. The Department is providing over 90 local highway authorities and towns with cycle training grants in 2009/10. All eligible grant bids have been met in full. The funding will pay for cycle training for around138,000 new places above those already being funded by local authorities. A full list of the grants awarded and number of children to be trained is attached.
7. Grants were available to local authorities for a maximum of £40 per pupil. Where the cost of training exceeds £40 local authorities top up the funding either with their own funding or with parental contributions. Cost of training can vary depending on different costs and delivery mechanisms around the country.
8. In addition to funding cycle training through local authorities Cycling England also offers grants direct to schools through the Youth Sport Trust School Sports Partnerships. A grant of £4m is being made available to the Youth Sport Trust which will fund 100,000 training places at £40 per place.
9. Cycling England also fund bursaries for new cycle trainers and provide funding for Bike It officers who work in schools to promote cycling. £500,000 will be made available in 2009/10 which will provide a bursary grant towards training of £300 per place. This will enable a further 1,600 new trainers to trained.
10. The original 6 cycle demonstration Towns (Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter & Lancaster with Morecambe) are continuing to receive Department for Transport funding until 2011 to promote cycling and spread best practice for other areas to learn from. Cycling England announced last year the selection of one new cycling city, Bristol and 11 new Cycle Demonstration areas. All these areas will be delivering Bikeability training in 2009. The new cycling Demonstration towns are Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton - Linslade, Shrewsbury, Southend, Southport, Stoke, Woking and York. The 18 Cycling demonstration Towns will receive around £100m between over 3 years.
11. The £4m funding to the Youth Sport Trust and £500,000 bursary grants to coach 1,600 new Bikeability trainers will also be allocated in the coming year.