Devon celebrates 20,000th cycle safety scheme graduate
A county scheme to improve cycling proficiency in Devon is celebrating its 20,000th youngster receiving the training.
The Devon County Council funded programme, Bikeability is ‘cycling proficiency’ for the 21st century, designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today’s roads. It provides trainees with a real cycling experience to equip them to confidently deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school. The aim is to encourage greater use of cycling as a sustainable form of transport in order to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
There are three Bikeability levels. A child will typically start Bikeability lessons once they have learnt to ride a bike, with 9-10 year olds progressing through to Level 2, and then Level 3 at secondary school (11-18 year olds).
Over 20,000 children in Devon have received Bikeability from the launch of Bikeability in 2006 to the end of this school year (31st Aug)
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The scheme has received great praise from mums and dads with 93% of parents saying they will ride more as a family now that their child has completed Bikeability and 95% of parents rated the Bikeability course as High or Very High. They also said that following the training, their children were 100% more likely to cycle in their free time and would be more inclined to cycle to school.
Cabinet member for Highways and Transportation, Councillor Stuart Hughes said; "It's never been a better time to start cycling. There's been so much interest following the Tour de France, British success in the Olympics and more recently the Tour of Britain, more people than ever are getting on their bikes. Bikeability is a great scheme to encourage youngsters to get into cycling and I am delighted to see so many young people have benefited from the course. It gives them confidence, may encourage them to cycle to school and overall improves safety on our roads. "