More than 300 children are being helped to learn to ride a bike during February and March, thanks to an additional Bikeability Plus grant awarded to Wokingham Borough Council by the Department for Transport.
The borough council already runs a very successful programme of Bikeability training in schools, for 10 and 11-year-olds, and was one of only seven local authorities to take part in the pilot phase of Bikeability Plus last year. This new initiative will now help younger children to learn to balance and ride a bike.
150 children aged 3 to 4 have already benefitted from Bikeability - Balance training in January and, during February and March, the council will be running Bikeability - Learn to Ride courses for 5 to 10-year-olds who cannot ride a bike or who are struggling to learn.
Jill Bissell, Wokingham Borough Council’s cycle training co-ordinator, said: "We are finding that there is a huge demand for beginner cycle training for younger children and we are very grateful for the Bikeability Plus grant which has enabled us to organise both the Bikeability Balance and Learn to Ride sessions.
"The key to learning is that we start the children off on balance bikes (bikes with no pedals and no stabilisers) so that they learn to balance first and then glide (with their feet up.) Once they have mastered these skills, they can then make an easier transition to riding a bike with pedals."
Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for highways and planning, said: "Starting to teach a child to ride a bike at a young age is a life skill which some children miss out on. We hope that the Bikeability Plus grant will get more children and families enthused about cycling and encourage more of the future generation to use cycling as a means of transport. This is just one of the schemes we offer to children of all ages to ensure they are safe and understand the importance of road safety.”