The Government has announced an £18 million investment towards cycle training for children and families to given them 'the confidence to choose active travel’.
The funding, managed via the Bikeability Trust charity, will go towards delivering practical on-road cycle training as a modern-day equivalent of the ‘cycling proficiency’ scheme.
The investment will help ensure children are ‘road-ready’ on their bikes as schools and families prepare for the summer term, according to the Government.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Cycling is such a fun and healthy way for pupils to get to school, and we want as many as possible to make it their choice of transport.
"With social distancing still a necessity, the more people who walk or cycle, the more we can keep ease pressure on public transport as people return to normal life.
“But we know not all children, or parents, feel bike-confident. Today’s funding will kick-start our plans to provide Bikeability training to all children by 2025, giving the next generation of cyclists a life skill and the confidence they need to choose a more active way to travel.”
Bikeability teaches children to cycle safely on modern roads. At different levels of the scheme, children will learn how to:
- develop early cycle handling and awareness skills (Bikeability Balance)
- master pedalling (Bikeability Learn to Ride)
- prepare for on-road cycling (Level 1)
- cycle on single-lane roads and simple junctions (Level 2)
- handle busier streets, complex junctions and roundabouts (Level 3)
Local authorities can also offer Bikeability Family training sessions with an instructor.
Emily Cherry, executive director of the Bikeability Trust, said: “The commitment of Government to fund Bikeability in this next year is hugely welcomed as we seek to ensure that every child can access cycling as a life skill by 2025.
"This record investment will allow us to reach more children and, importantly, their families too, as a result of additional funding for our Family module."
In 2020, South Yorkshire recieved £2.5m funding from Government to make improvements to active travel including new cycle training, e-bike loans and walking groups for people with disabilities.
The Scottish Government also allocated £1.79 million from its active travel budget to improve cycling facilities for 173 organisations across Scotland.