Bikeability - The new National Standard for Cycle Training

BIKEABILITY

Bikeability, the new national standard for cycle training supported by Cycling England has been introduced for both adult and child cyclists. Bikeability has been developed by over 20 expert organisations including LARSOA, RoSPA and CTC in response to public demand for a modern, nationwide scheme that caters for today's road conditions.


From Spring 2007, thousands of children will have the chance to get the new Bikeability award in a national scheme which will be rolled out across England. Bikeability will make a huge difference to the confidence and skills of those that undertake it, ensuring they become integrated traffic users that truly understand the complexities of road traffic and awareness of others.


Why develop a new set of cycle standards?

Drawing on the experience of RosPA's old Cycling Proficiency test phased out a decade ago, Cycling England is rolling-out Bikeability to ensure cyclists are able to ride safely on today's roads, and training is consistent throughout the country.


What does Bikeability consist of?
Bikeability consists of:

  • LEVEL 1 - Basic bike handling skills
    This is conducted in a controlled environment away from roads and traffic. Cyclists are usually trained in groups of 3-12 riders, although individual training can be made available. It provides the basic cycle control skills including, starting and pedaling, stopping, maneuvering, signaling and using the gears.
  • LEVEL 2 - Safe cycling on minor roads and specific journeys
    On-road training for those who have completed Level 1 and are ready to progress; it gives real cycling experience and makes trainees feel safer and capable of dealing with traffic on short commuting journeys or when cycling to school. Training is mainly in small groups over a number of sessions.
  • LEVEL 3 - Competence for all cycling trips
    This level trains riders to make journeys in a variety of traffic conditions competently, confidently and consistently. Cyclists reaching the Level 3 standard will be able to deal with all types of road conditions and more complex situations. The course covers dealing with hazards, making 'on-the-move' risk assessments and planning routes for safer cycling.

Who should consider taking Bikeability?

Over the next three-five years, Cycling England will be working towards giving every child the opportunity to have access to this standard of training. That said, any adult who wants to learn to ride safely on the road or improve their bike skills is also encouraged to undergo the training.


What will Cycling England be doing?

Cycling England has awarded the CTC Charitable Trust a three-year £950,000 project to promote the uptake of the standard across the UK. The scheme includes the provision of bursaries - to Local Authorities and anyone interested in cycle training - which covers at least 50% of the cost of the training needed to become an Accredited Bikeability Cycle Trainer.


Cycling England is now gearing up for a national rollout of Bikeability in the Spring of 2007, working with 3000 children across the country. During the gearing up phase we will be looking at all aspects of how Bikeability is delivered to ensure a smooth roll-out.


How can I find out more?

For more information visit www.bikeability.org.uk Alternatively contact the national cycle training helpline 0870 607 0415 or visit www.ctc.org.uk/cycletraining or email cycletraining@ctc.org.uk.

 

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