Following Olympic success in Rio, Hertfordshire County Council is delighted to have secured government funding to ensure the future of the county’s successful cycle training scheme up until 2020.
Launched in 2007, the Hertfordshire Bikeability scheme provides training to enable children to learn vital cycling skills. The new funding of almost £421,000, which covers just under 50% of the cost of the training, is expected to help another 23,000 children to take part in the scheme. The County Council, as well as schools and parents for each child attending the training, contribute the rest of the cost.
Bikeability has pedalled cycle training into the modern age with three different training levels. Level 1 helps new riders to gain balance and control over their bike; Level 2 training moves on to developing more complicated ‘on the road’ skills and is tackled by children in Year 5 upwards. Level 3 looks at more complex situations that cyclists might come across on the road.
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding. Our Bikeability scheme is one of the most successful in the country, training 50,000 children to date, and we have managed to sustain this by asking parents and schools to make a contribution to the costs. This model has been recognised and rewarded by the government with an increased amount of funding. Making sure that children learn to ride properly and stay safe is essential and the secure future of the Bikeability training is a key part of this.”
Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries, said: “The London 2012 Olympics created a huge interest in cycling and it is gratifying to see that the increase in the number of people who took up riding a bike at that time has been sustained over the last four years. We expect that Rio 2016, especially with the continued success of local gold medallist, Laura Trott, will further inspire people of all ages who take to the roads with their bikes. We want our children to live healthy lives and cycling is a great way for them to stay fit and healthy and have fun at the same time. The benefits of regular physical activity cannot be underestimated.”
More information about the Bikeability scheme can be found online.
(Source: Hertfordshire County Council)