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15 March 2010, 16:03
A new scheme to help youngsters cycle safely is being introduced to schools in West Sussex.
Known as Bikeability, it is an up-to-date version of the old Cycling Proficiency Test.
There are three Bikeability levels. Level One is the most basic course while Level Three gives more advanced skills. The intermediate Level Two is initially being offered free of charge to all Year 6 children in West Sussex schools.
Under the scheme children will learn how to ride their bikes to the Government approved National Standard for Cycle Training.
The standard sets out the training and skills essential for making safe cycling trips in modern road conditions. It has been developed by over 20 organisations and is maintained by the professional body for cycle training, the Cycle Training Standards Board.
The scheme is being launched by the West Sussex County Road Safety Team working jointly with the School Sports Partnerships.
Derek Whittington, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: ``Bikeability will give our children the necessary skills to ride a bike safely throughout the rest of their lives. At the same time they can enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
``The added benefit of this scheme is that we will ultimately be able to offer the more advanced Level Three training to secondary school age children and adults.''
The county council provides cycling training for nearly 9,000 children in the county every year.