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Hundreds more city children receive cycling safety training


The number of primary school children completing Bikeability Scotland training in Aberdeen has almost doubled since last year.

Penalties paid by bus lane offenders will be used to help deliver the cycling safety training to even more youngsters in the coming school year.

Since AdventureAberdeen took over the management and co-ordination of Bikeability last year, 29 of the city council's 47 primary schools have joined the scheme. Of these, 27 offered Bikeability Level 2 on-road training, with 777 pupils successfully completing the programme. In 2012/13, 21 schools participated, 15 offered Level 2 on-road training, and 440 pupils completed the programme.

Council leader Jenny Laing said: "Bikeability provides children with the knowledge and training which they absolutely need if they are to be safe while cycling on the streets. It's a fantastic and very important scheme and I can't overstate how pleased I am to see the number of schools and children being able to take part increase so dramatically on previous years.

"This is as a result of the efforts of our staff, the schools, and of course the volunteers who help to deliver the training to the children, and we have been superbly supported by Cycling Scotland to ensure that as many children as possible can learn how to cycle safely on the roads. I'm confident that with continuing support we will see Bikeability rolled out across more schools in Aberdeen and more children being equipped with these essential life skills as a result."

Councillor Ross Thomson added: "The latest Bikeability results are great news for Aberdeen. I'm delighted that we have seen Bikeability spread across the city, extending this opportunity to more and more children across Aberdeen."

"Bikeability teaches vital skills on how to be safe when cycling on the road and it is a great way of building up confidence amongst young people to start cycling more regularly. Cycling brings huge health and environmental benefits and I am delighted to see so many young people now participating in Bikeability. As the council's cycling champion I am encouraged and heartened to see how much progress we have made in only a year and I look forward to seeing even more schools and more children participating in this exciting programme."

Cycling Scotland funding was used to support AdventureAberdeen to take over the management and co-ordination of Bikeability, train new volunteers and offer mentoring support to schools.

It is hoped that AdventureAberdeen will be in a position to provide Bikeability training and support to more primary schools in the coming year. Further Cycling Scotland funding is being sought for this, in addition to the 20,000 of bus lane enforcement funding which has been assigned to the scheme.