Children’s Mayor helps launch new Bikeability training

Picture caption "Leeds Children's Mayor Charlotte Williams and fellow pupils from Rufford Park Primary School try out this year's Bikeability courses."

The Leeds Children’s Mayor along with fellow pupils at Rufford Park primary has helped launch this season’s Bikeabilty courses, to celebrate ‘a summer of cycling’ in Leeds.

Leeds City Council has received £276,000 of funding from the Department for Transport to deliver 6,900 Bikeability places to school pupils in Leeds over the forthcoming financial year. The Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte Williams, has helped launch the new courses by taking part in one of the first sessions

Charlotte, who is a year six pupil at Rufford Park Primary, based her winning Children’s Mayor entry on encouraging children and young people to do more cycling with a manifesto entitled “The Life Cycle of Leeds”

Bikeability is ‘cycling proficiency’ for the 21st century, designed to give the children and young people the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today’s roads. Since April 2010, over 18,400 young cyclists in Leeds have received Bikeability training

Councillor Judith Blake executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“This funding will help us continue our commitment towards developing the next generation of cyclists, and with her keen focus on cycling, our Children’s Mayor Charlotte, was the ideal person to launch this year’s sessions.

“As a council we are committed to promoting more sustainable modes of transport, and in particular we are keen to promote active travel amongst our young people as part of our bid to reduce congestion on the district’s roads, improve the health and wellbeing of our young people and of course as part of our commitment to becoming a Child Friendly City where young people can make journeys safely. I am delighted Charlotte is committed to helping us with our aims. It is very important that we listen and engage with our young people as they are the next generation of cyclists.”

There are three levels of Bikeability with each level designed to help improve cycling skills, no matter what children know already. Levels 1, 2 and 3 take trainees on a journey from the basics of balance and control, all the way through to planning and making a journey by themselves on busier roads. Children will typically start Bikeability lessons once they have learnt to ride a bike. Level 1 helps new riders to control their bike in an off road situation (usually the playground) before they move on to developing on-road skills at Level 2. Level 2 is usually tackled by children in Years 5 or 6, before they leave primary school. Level 3 teaches trainees how to ride in different and more challenging traffic situations, and is usually completed by children of secondary school age.

In addition to the standard levels Carnegie Bikeability, who provide the training on behalf of Leeds City Council, will be running some free family cycle training sessions this summer. The sessions are aimed at the parents of pupils in years five and six, with the aim of giving parents the skills and confidence to continue cycling both for leisure and for regular utility journeys with their newly Bikeability trained children.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713