A new study has concluded that Bikeability training improves a child’s ability to perceive and respond to the on-road hazards faced by cyclists.
Bikeability, described as ‘cycling proficiency for the 21st century’, is practical, outcome-led training designed to give children the skills and confidence they need to cycle on today’s roads, and encourage them to cycle more often with less risk.
The research, undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research on behalf of the DfT, set out to establish how Bikeability “affects the ability of children to perceive and appropriately respond to hazards when cycling on the road”.
668 pupils from 29 schools participated in an on-screen quiz devised to test knowledge and skills relating to hazard perception. The quiz was taken by both Bikeability-trained and untrained pupils and validated by a practical on-road assessment of the Bikeability-trained children.
The findings showed that children who participated in Bikeability Level 2 training scored significantly higher on the quiz, than those who had not received the training.
The effect of the training was undiminished when children re-took the quiz more than two months after training, suggesting that the benefits were sustained.
While children who participated in training reported increased confidence when cycling compared to their initial level of confidence, there was no association between training and frequency of cycling. Children did not report that they cycled more often as a result of receiving Bikeability training, despite the fact that their confidence had increased.