A number of Year Six pupils at Wootton Bridge Community Primary School, have taken part in a Level 3 Bikeability cycle proficiency course.
The Level 3 is aimed at riders who have already completed the level 2 course and have demonstrated that they are ready to take on busier roads, negotiate more complex junctions and multi-lane traffic. On the day, the pupils successfully navigated some of the Islands’ more challenging roads, including Coppins Bridge in Newport.
The training was run as part of the Department of Transport’s (DfT) Bikeability funding, managed by the Isle of Wight Council and carried out in schools by partner Shift-It – the project set up through the council’s DfT funded Sustainable Transport Access Fund (STAF) to deliver a programme of events and activities to increase sustainable modes and decrease car use on the school run.
Ross Edmunds, shift-it project manager, said: “It is important to give our children the training required to travel independently and as safely as possible to and from school. This becomes even more important when they transition from primary to secondary school.”
“As we all know, travelling more actively to school also has several other benefits, such as; reducing car pollution, improving physical and mental well-being and increasing young people’s independence.”
Bikeability offers children the chance to gain practical skills and develop their understanding of how to cycle safely on roads – a must for any children wanting to get out and about on their bikes.
The Department for Transport (DfT) recently announced an extra 400,000 training places per year would be delivered by a funding boost to the Bikeability programme.
Mrs Jane Wilford, Wootton Community Primary School headteacher, said: “As a school community we are always keen to support the fantastic work and training Shift It provides for our children. We are constantly seeking ways to promote active travel to school and were delighted to be involved with further training for our children.”
“We are seeing more children cycling to and from school and whilst we greatly encourage this, we are also mindful of the training children need to be able to be competent cyclists. The children involved thoroughly enjoyed the day which they say was challenging but good as they now feel so much more confident to cycle on the roads, ready to go off to High School.”
The ‘Shift It’ project is part of a wider programme of transport interventions being carried out by the Isle of Wight Council over the next year, using £450,000 of funding from the Department for Transport’s extended STAF.