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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.