Cheshire West pupils benefit from cycling training scheme

10 May 2017

Over 2,000 local school children have taken advantage of the council-sponsored Bikeability Scheme between April 2016 and March 2017.

Bikeability is the Department of Transport recognised and sponsored cycle training programme.

At Level 1 new riders learn how to control and master their bikes in a space away from traffic, such as a playground or closed car park.  

Level 2 takes place on local streets, giving trainees a real cycling experience.  Trainees learn how to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school or the local shops.  Both of these levels are aimed at primary schools.

Level 3 training equips trainees with skills for more challenging roads and traffic situations – busier streets, queuing traffic, complex junctions and roundabouts. It also includes planning routes for safe cycling and is intended for secondary school children.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Director of Place Operations, Maria Byrne said: ‘Our Road Safety Team delivered 2,287 Bikeability Level 1 and 2 places last year.

“At Level 3, 106 places were taken up, which is really positive.  We hope to increase the take up, as more places are available.  I hope more schools are able to take advantage of the scheme in the coming year.”

In the current year April 2017 to March 2018, 1700 Level 1 and 2 places and 120 Level 3 places are available.

Stephen Perry, from Chester Cycling Campaign added: “Our aim is to work with other cycling organisations in the city and with Cheshire West and Chester Council to improve facilities for everyday cyclists in and around the city.

“We are delighted to see a significant and growing interest in cycling for all ages and all skill levels, and that’s why the Bikeability Scheme offered by the Council’s Road Safety Team, working in partnership with their training providers, Cycle Experience, is so important in helping young people to adopt safe cycling practices.”

In a recent survey of 53 schools in the CW&C area, about 50% children travel to school by car, about 44% walk or scoot to school, 6% cycle and 2% travel by bus.  So there are still lots of opportunities to reduce the use of cars and increase the use of bicycles on the borough’s roads.

For more information about bringing the Bikeability scheme to your school call Lue Ellis on: 01244 973602 or email lue.ellis@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

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