The Bikeability Trust is teaming up with retailer Halfords to help deliver cycling training to an additional 25,000 primary school pupils.
Bikeability – the Government-funded training standard for cyclists – helps beginners learn to ride in a traffic-free environment before developing their skills and confidence to progress on to local roads, and then on to tackling busier, multi-lane roads and complex junctions.
The scheme aims to ingrain cycling into the everyday lives of children, in order to help prompt a modal shift across the country.
The new partnership, announced by cycling minister Jesse Norman, will see Halfords provide free bike safety checks for every child taking part in the programme, as well as for their parents, teachers and trainers.
The partnership follows a YouGov report, commissioned by Halfords, which shows 56% of parents want cycling safety added to the National Curriculum so that all children will be taught to cycle ‘competently, confidently and proficiently’.
The research also found that:
- 33% of parents think there should be a special ‘cycling highway code’ for children
- 60% of parents are in favour of more money being pledged towards improving cycling safety for children
- 35% of children learnt to cycle while at primary school
- 12% of British families with children under 12 years of age have at least one family member who doesn’t know how to ride a bike
The partnership was announced by Jesse Norman, the minister responsible for cycling, as part of a package of measures to improve cycle safety – including a new scheme to ensure driving instructors focus on cyclists’ safety when instructing learner drivers.
Jesse Norman said: “The benefits of cycling and walking are enormous. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health.
“For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops, and for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places.
“Halfords’ investment in cycle training for children is a great boost for the delivery of the Bikeability programme. This investment in the future generation of cyclists, will allow us to reach and train more children than ever before.”
Graham Stapleton, CEO at Halfords said: “We are delighted to partner with the Bikeability Trust, and are really proud to be able to help 25,000 more children to discover the joy of riding a bike. Safe cycling unlocks confidence and encourages daily activity.
“By helping more children cycle more safely and more often, families will be inspired to get out on their bikes.”
Paul Robison, The Bikeability Trust’s chief executive, said: “Working with Halfords will give us the chance to extend our scope, to reach thousands more children and help raise awareness of cycling as an essential life skill.”