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Cycling: Children

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to encourage children to practise safe cycling. (203017)

[holding answer 1 May 2008]: I announced on 17 March that we would be making funding of over £3 million available to local authorities to train nearly 80,000 schoolchildren to the Bikeability standard in 2008-09. This is in addition to the 46,000 children for whom we have already funded training via local authorities and School Sports Partnerships.

Some of the local authorities receiving funding in 2008-09 are also investing their own money in Bikeability standard training to train a further 29,000 children. Other local authorities also provide Bikeability standard training as part of their normal programme without any DFT grant.

We will make further funds available for cycle training in 2009-10 and 2010-11 to help meet our objective of providing cycle training for 500,000 children by 2012.

We have also invested £18.4 million in Links to Schools which extends the National Cycle Network (NCN) from residential areas to schools. We have provided these routes to over 600 schools which encourages pupils to cycle to school by improving their safety. Further funds will be made available to achieve our aim of providing Links to Schools to 500 more schools by 2011.

The Highway Code and Arrive Alive, the Highway Code for Young Road Users both give advice to child cyclists on the wearing of safety equipment such as cycle helmets and light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which makes them easier to see at night or in poor daylight by other road users.