Up to 600 children will learn to cycle safely on Island roads over this year thanks to the Isle of Wight Council’s new team of cycling instructors.
The announcement is thanks to a £14,575 grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of a government aim to offer cycle training for children and their families across England.
The five newly qualified instructors will teach children road safety skills, under the national Bikeability cycling proficiency scheme.
Welcoming the news, Councillor Phil Jordan, Cabinet lead for transport and infrastructure, said: “This is great news for Island youngsters.
"This training will give them the confidence they need to cycle to school. It will give children important road safety skills to carry through to adulthood and may encourage parents to swap the car for a bike and join them.”
New cycling instructor, Dan Storey, from East Cowes, said: "I've always felt like I wanted to try to give something back to the community. I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to try to inspire the next generation of cyclists.
"I’ve loved every minute of doing this so far. Seeing the kids smiling when cycling around the playground or overcoming their fears when out on the road makes it worthwhile.
“If I can teach children how to ride on the roads and grow their confidence, the children can encourage their parents to ride with them. Getting some family Bikeability sessions can help inspire generations of a family to cycle safely together.
“Understanding the rules of the road and following them makes the road a safer place for all road users."
Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet lead for environment, added: “If youngsters cycle more often to school with their parents, not only will it benefit their health but it will also benefit the environment, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.”
If you would like to discuss Bikeability for your school or children or would like to train as an instructor, please email sports development officer, Alec Broome, at email@example.com
Further information about the national Bikeability scheme can be found at: https://bikeability.org.uk/bikeability-training/