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Girl with cerebral palsy wins Bikeability fight

Ten-year-old passes stage two test with flying colours after initially being denied chance to take part

A ten-year-old girl from Cumbria with cerebral palsy is celebrating after passing with flying colours a Bikeability test that she had initially been prevented from taking.

Samantha Wilson, from Hayton, near Aspatria, passed her grade one Bikeability test two years ago. Last September, she sent off forms to enroll in the stage two course, explaining that she had cerebral palsy and needed a tricycle to get around.

But when, after completing the course last month, she turned up to take the stage two exam, the youngster was reportedly told by staff from Cyclewise, which delivered the training, that she could not use her tricycle to join other students on the road for assessment.

Helped by her mother Julie, Samantha undertook a letter and telephone campaign, enlisting the help of Workington MP Tony Cunningham, and was eventually allowed to take the test.

Samantha’s mother told the Times and Star: “She was rejected because of a third wheel on her bike. It was nothing to do with her ability. She wasn’t given the chance to try out her ability.”

The ten-year-old reportedly felt bad when she was denied the chance to take the test, but is said to be overjoyed now that she has a certificate to prove that she passed it.

“It was easy,” she told the newspaper. “You had to do signalling and show that you knew the rules.”

She added: “Now I am allowed to go on the road and when I start at Beacon Hill School in September I will ride my bike to school.”

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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