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TfL to provide free Bikeability training to all kids in London

Initiative forms part of new Delivery Plan for Schools and Young People

Transport for London (TfL) says it is to provide free Bikeability cycle training to every child living in the capital.

The initiative is part of TfL’s Delivery Plan for Schools and Young People and also ties in with its Safe Streets for London plan.

The latter is aimed at cutting the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic incidents, including cyclists and pedestrians, by 40 per cent by 2020.

TfL says that within the last 12 months, around 39,000 children have benefited from cycle training in partnership with London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London.

It adds that schools not currently offering Bikeability training, which has three different levels, are being encouraged to do so by contacting their local authority’s road safety team or school travel plan officer.

Leon Daniels, managing director surface transport at TfL said: “We want to encourage a shift towards cycling and walking as part of the school journey and get more Londoners out of their cars during the school run.

“As well as encouraging schools to sign up for cycle training, by working with the boroughs and the police we will be expanding Cycle to School Partnerships across London over the next three years.

“As a result, we hope to embed a cycling culture within schools and London wide.

“This plan also sets out how we are working with young people to provide them with the skills they need to make informed, safe travel choices and even how they can be equipped with the skills that could help them on to a career in the transport industry.”

The Delivery Plan for Schools and Young People covers those up to the age of 25 living, working or studying in the capital, as well as those visiting it.

The five main goals TfL, working alongside partners including London boroughs and the police, hopes to achieve are:

Casualty reduction: reducing the number of young people killed or injured on and around London roads

Active and independent travel: promoting active travel choices such as cycling, walking and confident use of public transport

Community and personal safety: reducing the level of young people as offenders and victims of crime, and promoting secure and responsible travel

Skills and employment: using transport to access learning and training, and raising the awareness of careers in TfL, its suppliers and the transport industry and

Youth involvement: connecting with young people and youth stakeholders to involve them in informing, influencing and communicating TfL's priorities and key message.

Meanwhile, the six main commitments of the Safe Streets for London road safety plan, launched last month, are:

To lead the way in achieving a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the capital's roads by 2020 - with a longer term ambition of freeing London's roads from death and serious injury

To prioritise safety of the most vulnerable groups - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - which make up 80 per cent of serious and fatal collisions;

To provide substantial funding for road safety, invested in the most effective and innovative schemes;

To increase efforts with the police and enforcement agencies in tackling illegal, dangerous and careless road user behaviour that puts people at risk

To campaign for changes in national and EU law to make roads, vehicles and drivers safer

To work in partnership with boroughs and London's road safety stakeholders to spread best practice and share data and information.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Simon E | 9 years ago

Don't assume Bikeability necessarily means negotiating heavy traffic. They won't be learning about Primary position etc until level 3! Most councils won't offer this until secondary school.

Both my kids have done level 1 & 2 in year 6 at primary. They are not taken anywhere near a road until the second day of level 2, and then only after the instructors feel they are capable of performing the manoeuvres safely. It's a quiet street where they can practice u-turns, right turns etc safely.

Bikeability should be offered by ALL councils either free or for a nominal charge as a matter of course. I know there are swingeing budget cuts thanks to the millionaire muppets in Downing Street but there's always money for schemes if the will is there.

OldRidgeback, the other reason there are fewer fatalities is because so few kids ride places nowadays compared to when we were young.

Airzound | 9 years ago

Suppose a start has to be made somewhere. Still it wouldn't be good if the Bikeability instructor was encouraging the little nippers to take primary in heavy traffic for instance if WVM was gunning down on them as they approached a pinch point or a line of parked cars in a narrow street requiring them to pull out and take the middle of the road ………….

OldRidgeback | 9 years ago

My kids have already done a Bikability course that's run through the local council. It does help if you're BC members and know the Bikability officer through the local cycle clubs I suppose. My kids seemed to get something from it and they're more confident on road. I'm still not keen to let them go far by themselves. Normally they just go along a couple of quiet roads and into the park and otherwise, they're with me or my wife. That said, I used to cycle off with my mates when I was the same age as my eldest and the fatality rate for cyclists in the (not so) good old days was actually far higher than it is today.

pmanc | 9 years ago

I'd prefer it if TfL focussed on providing safe protected space for kids and families to cycle in, rather than trying to teach them stuff like "taking the lane". Trying to impress on a child that she needs to cycle in the middle of the busy road may not make her safer.

I notice that the picture chosen to illustrate the article shows kids in a park. The TfL "Safe Streets for London" document says nothing about segregated or physically protected cycle facilities. Instead it claims London has...

...embraced innovation in roads infrastructure including measures such as...cycle superhighways,...cycle advanced stop lines...

Also, check this one out:

Collisions have a major detrimental impact on traffic flow: increasing congestion, reducing capacity, lengthening journey times, worsening journey time reliability...

Any hope I may have had for the Johnson and Gilligan double act is fading fast.

jollygoodvelo | 9 years ago

Should soddin' well think so too.

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