Pupils Take Part In Pedal Power To Learn Cycle Skills

PUBLISHED: 14:40 23 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 04 May 2010

Wilburton pupils

Wilburton pupils

PUPILS across the county were offered pedal power as part of National Bike Week. Special safer cycling training for children aged seven to nine is being offered at schools across Cambridgeshire by the county council s Road Safety Education Team. Unlike t

PUPILS across the county were offered pedal power as part of National Bike Week.

Special safer cycling training for children aged seven to nine is being offered at schools across Cambridgeshire by the county council's Road Safety Education Team.

Unlike the on-road training offered to older pupils, the Pedal Power programme takes place in the safety of the school playground and teaches basic skills and knowledge of bike maintenance.

At the Lantern School in Ely, youngsters will be taking part in a "slow" bicycle race - aiming to be the last rider across the finish line.

Cheryl Morgan, cycling education officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, explained: "The slow bicycle race takes a lot of control and balance. We have noticed that a lot of children who take part in the on-road tuition have already picked up some bad habits and we hope by offering the Pedal Power scheme to the younger children, we can reach them before the not-so-good habits take hold."

She added: "Without the enthusiasm of our schools and volunteers, this training would not be as effective or even possible. We know that the pupils enjoy the training activities and, more importantly, develop fundamental skills to help them get there safely. With over 10 per cent of all casualties across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough being cyclists, and Cambridgeshire seeing such high cycling rates, the earlier we can provide cycle training the better."

As well as teaching safer cycling, it is hoped that the scheme will encourage more children to cycle to school, giving benefits to their health and the environment.

Last year, 62 people on cycles were killed or seriously injured in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. A further 380 cyclists suffered minor injuries.

Pic cap: 5497HD0609. Pupils at Wilburton Primary School taking part in Safer Cycling training.

Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

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