More than 20,000 schoolchildren in County Durham have benefitted from Bikeability cycle safety training since the scheme was introduced by the county’s road safety team in 2009.
Bikeability, the Government-approved national standard for cycle training, is described as “the modern-day cycling proficiency course”. It is designed to give young people the knowledge, skills and confidence they need on to cycle on the roads.
Paul Watson, Durham’s road safety manager, said: “To date, we have now trained a total of 20,853 pupils from primary schools throughout the county since we began six years ago.
“We are absolutely delighted to reach this milestone as not only does the Bikeability training provide children with essential cycling skills and confidence, but it also promotes road safety awareness and longer term health and fitness.
“Our aim is for every child in County Durham to have successfully completed level two of the training by the time they leave primary school.”
The Bikeability course takes place over three progressive levels.
Level one is held on the school playground and focuses on basic control skills such as braking, riding in a straight line, riding around obstacles and using gears.
Level two involves on-road training that takes place on risk-assessed quiet local roads in real traffic conditions. Pupils learn road positioning, how to pass parked cars and left and right turns into major and minor roads.
Level three is an advanced phase for secondary school students and sessions are held on busier roads with more complex junctions.
Durham’s road safety team recently secured £20,000 of DfT funding to deliver level one Bikeability training to an extra 1,000 pupils in the county.