A record number of primary school pupils take part in Bikeability training.
During the first lockdown, cycling levels in the UK increased by over a third, with more families taking to the road on bikes than ever, enjoying everything that cycling has to offer in terms of green transport, leisure cycling and health benefits.
This increase is now being reflected in the number of children who are signing up for Bikeability training.
Bikeability training teaches children how to safely cycle on roads and is delivered to primary school pupils by Torbay Council’s team of cycling instructors.
White Rock primary school is a perfect example of the success of the scheme, with a record number of 148 pupils from years three to six signed up for cycle training this year.
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “This has been a bumper year at White Rock. We needed to schedule additional courses to accommodate all the children who wanted to take part. White Rock has always been one of our beacon schools. They are extremely pro-cycling and positively encourage the children to sign up for the course. They provide excellent cycle storage facilities for the bikes, which really encourages children to cycle to school.
“It is wonderful to see how the children’s confidence improves as they develop the various skills necessary to ride on the road. Some of them have never cycled on the road before and at the start of the week are nervous, but they all thoroughly enjoy the course and are enthused to carry on cycling at the end of the week.”
Leanne Foster, Assistant Head Teacher at White Rock, said; “We value the Bikeability scheme as we know that it is helping our children to keep safe whilst riding on the road. Riding a bike is a life skill and it is great that the children are learning to do this safely. There is always a huge uptake for Bikeability each year and we want to thank the team at Torbay Council for being so flexible with their time, which means that no child misses out.”
Isla Beardsmore, one of the year five pupils who took the Level 2 course said; “I really enjoyed going on the road because we learnt how to use hand signals to show other people where we wanted to go. This makes me feel safer when I’m on my bike with my family.”
The Government has issued a universal pledge that all children in England and Wales are to be offered cycle training, the Bikeability scheme currently offers the course to every primary school in the Bay.
Alongside this initiative, Torbay Council is currently working on several schemes to ensure the Bay remains a great place to walk and cycle. All residents are encouraged to ‘Keep the Change’ by maintaining good walking and cycling habits by incorporating active travel when getting to work, school, the beach, meeting friends and family or just going to the shops. The council are also consulting with local people to better support the local infrastructure for active travel in all its forms.
To find out more about Bikeability training visit: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/event-list/bikeability
To learn more about the Torbay Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan visit: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/roads/travel/active-travel
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