[Picture caption:] pupils from Rufford Park Primary School take part in Bikeability training
A cycling revolution has been taking place in Leeds over the last 12 months with record numbers of children undertaking Bikeability cycle training.
The chain-reaction has seen 5688 pupils take up Bikeability training – a cycling proficiency programme for the 21st century – between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.
Of that number 120 completed the advanced level 3 training, which teaches trainees how to ride in diverse and challenging traffic situations, and is usually completed by children of secondary school age.
The rest achieved level 1 and 2, which takes trainees on a journey from the basics of balance and control, all the way through to planning and making a journey by themselves.
The training is designed to give youngsters the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's roads.
Last year 4051 children completed the courses and since Leeds began delivering Bikeability training in April 2010 almost 18,500 young cyclists in Leeds have taken part and been awarded coveted Bikeability badges and certificates.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services, said:
“I’m delighted to hear that in the lead up to our city hosting the Tour De France Grand Depart, record numbers of our young people have felt inspired to jump on their bikes and access this free training.
“There might be a youngster today who could be the next Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome or Lizzie Armitstead of tomorrow. However, cycling isn’t just a sport or leisure activity and we are keen to promote pedal power as a healthy and sustainable way of making every day journeys.
“Travel data shows there are more people using bikes than ever before in Leeds. We will continue to develop safer cycling routes across the district and other initiatives aimed at encouraging safe and sustainable travel for all.”
Bikeability training in Leeds is delivered by Leeds Carnegie Bikeability on behalf of Leeds City council, with funding provided by central government.
Andrew Crossley, Leeds Carnegie Bikeability Manager, says:
“I’m delighted that our programme of cycle training continues to grow. The more young people we can get cycling, the better it is for their health and for the wider environment. We continue to work closely with the council not only to deliver Bikeability, but also to support a wide range of initiatives aimed at encouraging cycling.
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