Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced that £2,083,976 has been allocated to 206 schools across England to fund over 50,000 Bikeability cycle training places this year.
This follows a commitment given earlier this year by the DfT to support and provide funding contributions for Bikeability for the remainder of the parliament. A total of £11m has been made available for cycle training during financial year 2011/12, helping to deliver up to 275,000 cycle training places to school children aged between 10-11.
Norman Baker announced the funding whilst on a visit to Chalk Ridge Primary School in Basingstoke, where he observed children taking part in Level 2 Bikeability training which involves cycling on the road. Chalk Ridge Primary School will have 52 training places delivered.
Norman Baker said:
"This Government is strongly committed to cycling - it is a crucial part of building a healthy and sustainable transport network for the future. That is why we have provided £11m of funding this year for the Bikeability programme, which not only promotes the benefits of cycling as a healthy and enjoyable way of getting around, but enables children to do it safely and confidently."
Local Authorities bid for Bikeability grants in advance of the financial year starting. In addition, Schools Games Organiser Host Schools can bid for grants via the Youth Sport Trust. There are two opportunities each year for them to bid for funding and today's announcement sees the first allocation. There will be another allocation of funding in November this year.
Jim Blaber, Deputy Head, Chalk Ridge Primary School, said:
"The Bikeability scheme is very important; it allows pupils to develop a lifelong skill, encourages independence, promotes a healthy life style choice and ensures that the children are safer when cycling on our busy roads."