Bike cash aims to keep children safe on the city roads

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PORTSMOUTH City Council has secured thousands of pounds to provide more cycling proficiency training.

A total of £290,000 has been given to the council by the Department for Transport up until April 2015.

Pupils in years five and six currently receive basic levels one and two training.

Now, the extra funding will be used to teach youngsters in year seven – aged 11 and 12 – with the more advanced level three training.

This teaches children how to use the city’s busier roads and roundabouts.

Nicola Waight, road safety co-ordinator at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘The level one and two cycle training has been such a success in the city and I am keen to get under way with the new level three training.

‘The students in Portsmouth are enthusiastic to learn and it will make a real difference to cycle safety in the city.’

The cycle training course is designed to encourage and develop safe cycling skills, develop positive attitudes towards road use, and to increase knowledge and understanding of the road and traffic environment.

It also gives trainees the confidence to use their bikes on longer journeys.

Oliver Willcocks, road safety officer at the council, added: ‘It’s so important because the roads are the biggest unnatural killer of children in Britain.

‘It’s out on the road preparing them for a worst-case scenario like a busy city.

‘Having done this course the idea is that they would be able to ride anywhere on the road.’

The new additional Bikeability training will include at least two hours of on-road training.

Peter Laggan, health and safety officer from Miltoncross School, said: ‘We are delighted to give safety training to our students and take great pleasure in raising awareness of road safety and our environment through the Bikeability level three training.’

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