Children told to ride safely

PUBLISHED: 17:17 04 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:17 31 May 2010

YOUNGSTERS can learn how to be safer on two wheels at a course as part of a £10 million Government scheme to get children cycling. The Level One Bikeability course is being held at the Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre from Tuesday, April 10, to Friday

YOUNGSTERS can learn how to be safer on two wheels at a course as part of a £10 million Government scheme to get children cycling.

The Level One Bikeability course is being held at the Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre from Tuesday, April 10, to Friday 13 between 9am and 10.15am.

It is organised by Cycling England, a body set up by the Government to encourage children and adults to cycle after research revealed more than 90 per cent of children have never cycled to school.

And the number of trips taken by bike is estimated to have fallen by a fifth in the last 10 years across all age groups.

The course in Stansted is being run through Uttlesford District Council's Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Programme.

Coordinator Steven Prosser said: "The Level One course consists of a bicycle check, stopping and starting, looking, signalling and steering.

"It's ideal for children aged between six and nine, as well as for older children if they have no prior cycling training or experience."

A road-worthy bike, cycle helmet and appropriate clothing are essential equipment for those taking part.

"Bikeability aims to give young cyclists a more realistic experience, with the big difference being many of the tests will be carried out on the roads, unlike the Cycling Proficiency Test that tends to take place in the school playground," Mr Prosser said. "Under the new scheme young cyclists will be taught the kind of observation, road positioning and defensive driving tactics that new motorists learn.

"We are able to offer the course at the special price of £15 per child and there are 12 course places available at Easter, with more courses to follow during next half-term and the school summer holidays."

Transport Minister Gillian Merron said: "Cycling can provide us all with so much pleasure as it is fun, good for our health and is ideal for those short journeys when we can leave the car behind.

"But we should all learn to do it safely and well, which is why the new Bikeability training is so important, bringing the old Cycling Proficiency right up-to-date and helping young people to be better prepared for cycling on today's roads."

Parents interested in getting their child enrolled on the course, or future ones, should e-mail Steven Prosser at steven.prosser@leisureconnection.co.uk or call him on 01799 581720.

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