During a record-breaking year for the Bikeability Trust cycle training programme, Solihull has come second in the country with 84% of all pupils taking part in level 1 and 2 Bikeability cycling training by year 6.
New figures from the Bikeability Trust show that cycle training is reaching more children than ever before, with 461,887 children receiving training between April 2022 and March 2023.
The top ten local authority areas for 2022–23, who all delivered training to over 70% of their pupils by year 6, are: Plymouth (85%), Solihull (84%), Lancashire (80%), Leeds (79%), Cumbria (78%), Cheshire East (78%), Hull (78%), Cambridgeshire (77%), Warrington (76%) and Devon (71%).
The cycle training provided equips children with vital life skills. Pupils not only learn to cycle, they gain independence, social skills and a sense of wellbeing.
Cllr Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “As a council, we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all our residents. Giving our children the ability to learn to ride a bike at school for free with expert trainers – and with bikes on loan if they don’t already have one - is something that has both short and long-term benefits for their physical health and wellbeing. It also means that as they grow up, they have the cycling confidence to help them travel safely in an environmentally friendly way whether for leisure, travelling to secondary school or to work when they are older.
“To have 84% of school children proficient in cycling by year 6 is a major achievement. In fact, our trainers have also trained children in infant and secondary schools plus parks and holiday schemes during school holidays too – reaching 8,000 children and 300 adults.
“Congratulations to everyone involved – Bikeability trainers, the Bikeability project team, the school staff who we work with, and of course all the children and their parents and carers who have encouraged them to take up the offer. Well done – let’s see if we can be first next year!”
Bikeability Trust Chief Executive Emily Cherry said: “I’m so proud of the 461,887 children across England who can now enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of cycling, and will have the skills and confidence to be able to make more sustainable transport choices for the rest of their lives. Well done to you all, and huge thanks to our brilliant instructors and training providers across the country, who are so committed to teaching young people this essential life skill.”