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Baker says training secure as he opens Leeds CyclePoint, but won't be drawn on Cycling England's fate...

Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker this morning officially opened the UK’s first Dutch-style CyclePoint at Leeds railway station and also allayed concerns that Bikeability training would be scrapped as part of government cuts.

There have been fears that the cycle training initiative, the successor to the National Cycling Proficiency Scheme, migt be a victim of the so-called ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’ which looks set to claim Cycling England, which helps deliver Bikeability within England.

Speaking to the cycle trade-focused website BikeBiz, Mr Baker confirmed that Bikeability would continue, although it is not clear at present who will be responsible for administering it.

However, he declined to be drawn on confirming the fate of Cycling England, despite being questioned on the issue by one of the body’s board members, transport journalist Christian Wolmar, who was present at the opening of the new facility and who has put the case for retaining Cycling England in an open letter on his website.

Joining the Secretary for State in opening the £700,000 CyclePoint in Leeds were Dutch ambassador Pim Waldeck and Anton Volk, chief executive of Netherlands-based Abellio, parent company of Northern Rail, which has developed the facility in partnership with Network Rail and Leeds City Council.

Operated by Evans Cycles, the Leeds CyclePoint is modelled on similar facilities in the Netherlands, where they go by the name FietsPoint (‘fiets’ being Dutch for ‘bike’). As well as secure bike parking facilities, it also has bicycles available for hire at a cost of £8 a day, as well as a workshop and retail space.

Mr Baker commented: "I think this is an innovative scheme in Leeds and is this way things should be going. We are determined to get more people cycling and walking and tackle the problem of carbon emissions."

Meanwhile, bicycles are not the only form of transport for which children are being given  training. A report on BBC Breakfast this morning, which you can watch here, featured a school in Brighton which is providing lessons in how to ride scooters safely.

The BBC claims that the simple wheeled form of transport are now the most popular form of transport for children aged under 10.

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.

5 comments

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 6 years ago
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If the BBC is claiming that simple three wheeled scooters are the favoured form of transport for under 10s, then the BBC is wrong. Most mini scooters for kids have two wheels, not three. Only tots have three wheeler scooters and my younger son abandoned his for a two wheeler when he was five.

Both my sons have two bikes but then they're not your average kids as they've been competing in BMX since they were seven and five respectively.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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I thought that too, South Glos Council is going into schools teaching kids how to use them properly....nanny state gone too far in my opinion, why dont parents enjoy teaching their kids to cross roads, ride scooters etc etc?

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 6 years ago
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There was an item on the BBC website about kids being taught to rider their scooters properly. I meant to post a link to it but forgot.

I suppose the reason so few parents teach their kids to ride scooters is because they can't ride them themselves. I walk my kids to school sometimes and it certainly is interesting watching which families walk/scoot or cycle and which ones take the car. Those arriving by car are by no means those who live the furthest away in many/most instances.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 6 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

If the BBC is claiming that simple three wheeled scooters are the favoured form of transport for under 10s, then the BBC is wrong. Most mini scooters for kids have two wheels, not three. Only tots have three wheeler scooters and my younger son abandoned his for a two wheeler when he was five.

Um, not the BBC's fault...  9

Reference to number of wheels removed and I'll look more closely next time some little mite whizzes past on the pavement  3

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 6 years ago
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We've got four of the things, two of which are cluttering up the hallway when not in use. Having tripped over them so often, I should know how many wheels they have! My sons do hit some fearsome speeds on them and the eldest practices bunny-hops over drain covers and also takes his to the skateboard park.