Schoolchildren in Waveney are being encouraged to sign up for Bikeability training, which Suffolk County Council is pushing in the area during 2010 with the aim of giving pupils aged between nine and 12 the necessarty skills to ride their bikes safely on the road.
The training is being funded by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and on completion children will receive a certificate, badge and booklet, as well as a letter to give to their parents.
Paul Westgate, cyclist training project officer with Suffolk County Council, told the Lowestoft Journal: “Cycling has always been an important part of young people's culture. The lessons that are learned about the Highway Code and road craft will remain relevant as these children grow older and eventually become adult road users.
“What they learn on this course will keep them safe now and in the future,” he added. Mr Westgate continued: “Encouraging cycling as a means to make small journeys is also an essential part of the council's efforts to create a sustainable transport system. Cycling is one of the most efficient and greenest ways to travel.”
Lyn Blizzard, health improvement principal, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney explained the reasons for the body backing the scheme: “We have funded this programme because we recognise the health benefits associated with cycling,” she said.
"Regular exercise is essential for children's physical development and well-being," she added. "Cycling to school and using a bike for leisure journeys instead of sitting passively in a car is a great way to stay active. A good standard of training may also prevent accidents and safeguard children from harm as they become more independent,” Ms Blizzard concluded.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.