The Government has announced £18 million in funding for the Bikeability cycle training scheme, as it looks to ensure children and their families ‘have the confidence to choose active travel’.
Introduced in 2007, Bikeability ‘goes beyond the playground’, teaching children to cycle safely on modern roads.
At different levels of the scheme, children 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)
And, for families looking to improve their confidence cycling together, local authorities can offer bespoke Bikeability Family training sessions with an instructor, to help them feel confident in a range of scenarios ranging from a weekend ride to taking the children to school.
The Government says the record investment will help ensure children are road-ready on their bikes as schools and families prepare for the summer term.
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, 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.”
The funding will be managed via the Bikeability Trust charity.
Emily Cherry, executive director of the Bikeability Trust, said: “The commitment of the 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.
“Personally, I know the value of Bikeability cycle training for both children and their parents, having taken part in family training with my teacher husband and our children.
“Now, they cycle to school daily using the skills they learned from the training and, as a family, we continue to enjoy cycling together. Bikeability is the first step to ensure that adults and children alike have the confidence and competence to cycle.”