Cash grant funds bike safety training for Sussex schoolchildren

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EXTRA cash is being pumped in to help schoolchildren learn how to cycle safely on the area’s roads.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded £15,500 to pay for a new ‘bikeability’ scheme.

Provided by West Sussex County Council, the initiative offers children the basics of balance and control and how to ride safely on the road.

The cash windfall will fund the training for more than 9,000 pupils across the county.

Bob Lanzer, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure at the county council, said: ‘This is great news as the extra funding will allow us to reach even more schools and more individuals through the bikeability projects we run.

‘Bikeability, which used to be known as cycle proficiency training, is designed to ensure children gain practical skills and understanding of how to cycle on today’s roads. It gives them the skills and confidence for all types of cycling and is governed by national standards.’

Dean Pocock, road safety officer, added: ‘Each year we train in excess of 8,000 pupils at bikeability levels one and two. This year, we are set to exceed 9,000 pupils – something which we’ve never done before.

‘There are three levels to Bikeability and we currently offer a combined level one/two course to all schools across the county which have Year 6 pupils who want to take part.’

DfT funding is used for holiday courses, additional aspects of the Bikeability programme and to give pupils, unable to attend courses in term time, the chance to participate.

The council also provides balance bike training for pupils in reception and Year 1, which is also funded by a DfT grant.