Southend helps get Britain biking

Cycle_instructor_Clare_Griffiths_with_Bikeability_level_2_students

Thousands more children and adults across the country will saddle up and cycle thanks to a scheme spearheaded in Southend.

The Department for Transport specially picked the borough as one of just 18 places to pilot extended Bikeability training in schools after witnessing the success of its previous cycling programmes.

True to form, Southend’s Bikeability Plus pilot scheme proved a hit too. It went down so well that the Government is now allocating £5million to be spent on similar projects countrywide.

This aims to get 200,000 more children cycling.

Fresh from the productive pilot, Southend’s cycling team is also applying for grants from this new fund to carry on its good work.

Southend schools who would like to take advantage of this are invited to contact:collettekemp@southend.gov.uk or elaineswallow@southend.gov.uk

Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, Councillor Martin Terry said: “Southend has an excellent track record in delivering cycling programmes which introduce people to the benefits of cycling and help them ride their bikes more confidently and safely.

“Before we were chosen for the Bikeability Plus pilot scheme, staff from the Department for Transport came along to find out what we were doing.

“One of the projects they saw was a joint enterprise with Sustrans – the sustainable transport organisation – to put cycling on the school curriculum.

“This included Cycle Safaris where pupils went on guided bike rides to nearby places of interest to learn more about their local history, nature and environment.

“Schools didn’t then need to hire coaches for these short distance educational journeys. At the same time, pupils and teachers experienced our off road routes and saw how quickly places could be reached by bike.

“While our Bikeability Plus modules are specifically aimed at children, we have similar schemes, run at cost price, for adults.

“Details of all our cycle training can be found at www.cyclesouthend.co.uk

Responses from pilot scheme participants include:

  • I’ve had some wonderful feedback from parents regarding last week.  Please pass onto the team.  They felt that their approach, encouragement and management enabled the children to all succeed. Well done, and thanks! Dan Ager, The Federation of Thorpe Greenways School
  • Bikeability Fix has been fantastic today! The instructors were amazing and put the information over in a way appropriate to the age of the pupils.  The children and staff alike were buzzing after the sessions!  Lea Carter, Richmond Primary School
  • The children were so excited to use the balance bikes and they all made really good progress.  Porters Grange Primary School

The following schools and organisations have taken part in the current pilot scheme:

BIKEABILITY FIX
Our Lady of Lourdes
Richmond Primary School
Darlinghurst Primary School
One Brownie Park and two Scout troops

BIKEABILITY BALANCE
Friars Primary School
Porters Grange Primary School
Earls Hall Primary School
The Federation of Thorpe Greenways Schools

BIKEABILITY LEARN TO RIDE
Earls Hall Primary School
The Federation of Thorpe Greenways Schools

 

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