More than 1,500 youngsters are now better equipped to take to Southend’s streets after taking part in FREE cycle safety training this school year.
A total of 1,635 9-11-year-olds took part in Level 2 Bikeability Training this year – a course which takes place on local streets, training participants to deal with traffic on short journeys. The uptake is an impressive rise of over 300% since the course was first introduced in 2009, when 537 pupils participated.
Sixty per cent of those who took the training this year achieved all the outcomes of their training and were awarded a formal pass certificate. Those who didn’t achieve all the outcomes will still have learnt skills that make them safer cyclists and have the opportunity to take part in summer cycling courses.
A further 84 eight-to-nine-year-olds took part in basic safe cycle training to lay the foundations of a lifetime of environmentally friendly travel that promotes health and wellbeing.
A subsequent survey of participants showed that 93% of respondents said they would recommend the course to others.
Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Transport, Waste & Cleansing, congratulated the young cyclists.
He said: “At a time of increasing traffic congestion, challenges around asthma and childhood obesity, the importance of teaching our town’s children how to cycle safely has never been greater.
“I’m delighted that so many young people took up the opportunity to take part in this free training, which equips them with skills to say safe on cycle paths and roads and helps grow a new passion for an activity keeps them fit, healthy and mobile.”
Bikeability is the National Standard for Cycle Training administered nationally by the Department for Transport and delivered in Southend by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
For a full report on a survey – or to find out more about Bikeability training – please visit www.cyclesouthend.co.uk or call 01702 215338.