Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Call for new cycle course volunteers

Bike class
Image caption The new training scheme provides children with the road skills they need to cycle safely in traffic

An appeal has been launched to encourage adults to take part in a national scheme teaching cycling skills to Scots youngsters.

Bikeability Scotland has replaced the traditional Cycling Proficiency Scheme, which was completed by hundreds of thousands of young cyclists.

The focus of the new training scheme is providing children with the road skills they need to cycle safely in traffic.

The free course is run by Cycling Scotland.

Cycling Scotland said Bikeability offers much more comprehensive training than its predecessor.

The programme starts with basic cycle control skills, instruction about riding on the road, and navigating basic junctions.

Participants are then taught how to make independent journeys, plan the safest route along quiet roads and cycle paths, and negotiate traffic and more complex junctions.

But adult volunteers from across Scotland are needed to provide the training.

Ian Aitken, Cycling Scotland chief executive, said: "To allow us to give children an opportunity to receive the new and improved training, we really rely on support from volunteers.

"All we need are committed and enthusiastic people who want to help deliver something that makes a difference in their local community."

Volunteers receive training which qualifies them to teach cycling training courses in their area.

Adults who take part are expected to spend one hour a week for six to eight weeks helping children to learn to cycle safely to school or for leisure.

Gary Bell has already completed the training and has begun teaching children in the Edinburgh area.

He said: "I wanted my children to learn to cycle safely and to get more kids to cycle too. If there are more kids cycling, and more adults cycling, that's got to be a good thing.

"It's important for parents and other adults to lead by example. If your kids see you cycling, they're more likely to want to follow suit and learn to cycle themselves."

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