More than 100,000 children in Devon have now received Bikeability cycle training.
The impressive milestone has been reached after 17 years of us running the scheme in the county.
West Exe School pupil Beatrice Stothert is the 100,000th Bikeability trainee in Devon. To celebrate the occasion, she was presented with a certificate and a bicycle by Councillor Stuart Hughes, our Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling.
Beatrice, aged 11, gained her Bikeability Level 3 award. She said: “I was really surprised to hear that I was the 100,000th Bikeability trainee. I am so happy to be able to celebrate this achievement with the team. I thoroughly enjoyed cycling out with my little group on my Level 3 course, it was great fun. We went on some busy roads that I wouldn’t have felt safe on before, but the instructor was excellent.”
Bikeability equips young people with the practical skills and confidence to cycle short journeys on the road. Nationally more than four million have benefitted from the scheme, and the Bikeability Trust is aiming to reach five million by 2025.
“It’s an incredible achievement to have now helped over 100,000 young people in Devon to receive essential cycling skills through Bikeability and I’m delighted that Beatrice had the honour of being the 100,000th trainee. Congratulations to Beatrice and all of our Bikeability trainees over the past 17 years who have helped make the scheme such a success in Devon.
“Cycling is a skill for life that provides so many benefits for the environment, health and road safety awareness. Bikeability is helping our next generation of cyclists to choose active travel and take positive steps towards a greener and healthier lifestyle.”
Emily Cherry, Chief Executive of the Bikeability Trust, said: “It’s fantastic that Devon has reached 100,000 children cycle trained. We’re delighted to have been able to award Beatrice, the 100,000th child trained, with a brand new cycle, thanks to support from our friends at Tandem Group Cycles. Cycling is an essential life skill and such good exercise and fun for children. Bikeability gives children the skills they need to cycle with confidence on the roads, helping them make more sustainable transport choices. We’re so pleased to see such enthusiasm for cycling in Devon; congratulations to the training provider, instructors, schools and children involved!”
Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School, said: “We are very proud that the 100,000th trainee is one of our students and equally we are proud to host the Council’s free Bikeability courses. The Level 3 course gives our students the skills and confidence to cycle to school and we strongly recommend any Devon school that hasn’t yet fully engaged with Bikeability to do so now.”
Colin Savage, our Safer Travel Officer who manages Bikeability, said: “We have come a long way since I delivered the first Bikeability session in 2006! It is fantastic that the 100,000th trainee was a participant in the Bikeability Level 3 (advanced cycling) course as we want every Devon secondary school to host our free courses. This amazing milestone has been achieved with the great support and dedication of our training provider and team of professional and passionate Bikeability instructors.”
Over the past 17 years, we have successfully bid for over £4 million to deliver Bikeability cycle training in Devon. Today it also delivers Bikeability Balance for younger children in reception and years one and two, Bikeability Learn to Ride for children in year three and above, Bikeability Family as well as Cycle Confidence for adults.
To book Bikeability courses in your school or for information go to Devon County Council Travel Devon webpages.