Results from a scheme to train children on cycling safely in the county shows that it is successfully encouraging more children to travel by bike.
Bikeability is a national project to provide cycle training for school children aged 9 to 11. Cambridgeshire County Council currently delivers the scheme through Outspoken Cycle Training, who ran Bikeability for over 3000 children in over 100 primary schools in Cambridgeshire last year.
A recent survey of four schools participating in the Bikeability scheme showed that children with training cycled more than the control group who did not take part:
* 26.9 per cent more children cycled on the road
* 12.6 per cent more children cycled to school
* 12.9 per cent more felt confident on the road
* 10.1 per cent more children cycled at least once a week
* 11.2 per cent more cycle with their family
Importantly for pedestrians, 26.5 per cent fewer children with training cycled on pavements.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning said: “We’re delighted that the results of the survey show that cycle training for children is successfully encouraging them to travel by bike. Cycling is free, fun and a healthy activity – just 30 minutes of cycling a day will provide a level of fitness of the equivalent of being ten years younger. We hope that Bikeability will continue to train Cambridgeshire’s next generation of cyclists”.
Paul Robison, Director of the Bikeability Support Team said “Most children want to ride their bikes but often their parents are understandably reluctant to let them, even though they know that cycling is good for health. Bikeability is designed to give children the skills and confidence to ride well and to give their parents reassurance.”
Cambridgeshire County Council pioneered on-road practical cycle training for 10/11 year olds, during the late 1970s, which eventually became the benchmark for all such schemes.
In July 2012, Cambridgeshire County Council awarded Outspoken with a £460,000 contract to deliver cycle training across the county, after successfully receiving funding from the Department for Transport.
More information about cycling in Cambridgeshire, including cycle maps and events can be found on the Cambridgeshire County Council website: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/cycling