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Safer cycling for Medway’s children

Date: 31/03/2008           Category: Highways Traffic and Parking

A leading cycling course, developed by road safety experts, is on the cards for Medway schoolchildren thanks to the council’s successful bid for £80,000 of government grant under the nationwide Bikeability scheme. The funding will support the new National Cycle Training Standard being promoted in England by Cycling England as Bikeability. Launched in March 2007, it is described as the new cycling proficiency test for the 21st century. The aim is to improve children’s essential road safety skills and give them greater awareness of dangers on the road. Parents and carers will be reassured that their children are suitably equipped to use the roads and enjoy their bikes. “This great news,” said the council’s Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, Cllr Phil Filmer. “We will now be working hard to improve our cycling course and continue to encourage more kids to cycling in a bid to help reduce traffic congestion and get them healthier.” The council already provides five-day cycle training courses for school students aged 10 years and above, which will be slightly modified to meet Bikeability standards. Medway’s grant comes from a national total of more than £3million for cycle training for nearly 80,000 school children by March 2009. This funding is part of a £140m package announced in January by the Department for Transport that will provide up to 500,000 ten-to-eleven year olds with cycle training by 2012. Bikeability has been designed and developed by leading experts in the road safety and cycling fields, including RoSPA and Local Authority Road Safety Officers. It is based on similar principles to lessons for motorcycles, allowing cyclists to assess risks and obstacles faced on the road. See www.bikeability.org.uk [ends]