[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
New cycling tests to be launched
Cyclist
The Bikeability tests will be carried out on the roads
New cycling proficiency tests for children, to be carried out on roads, are set to be launched in England.

The Bikeability award scheme aims to give children a more realistic experience of coping on the road.

It comes after a pilot project involving more than 5,000 children in eight regions.

The government is putting 10m into children's cycling, which will pay for around half of all 10-year-olds to take the Bikeability course.

It is estimated that more than 90% of youngsters have never cycled to school.

Bikeability is run by Cycling England, a body set up by the government to encourage children and adults to cycle.

As much as anything else, what Bikeability is there for is actually to convince mums and to convince people like teachers that cycling is really OK
Kevin Mayne
Cycling England

In the last 10 years the number of trips taken by bike is estimated to have fallen by one fifth.

Cycling England's Kevin Mayne said Bikeability's predecessor, the Cycling Proficiency Test, "wasn't doing the job".

"In some cases, it kind of told children about the dangers of cycling without telling them about all the positive things," he told BBC News.

"As much as anything else, what Bikeability is there for is actually to convince mums and to convince people like teachers that cycling is really OK."

Defensive

Unlike the Cycling Proficiency Test, which generally took place in the school playground, many of the Bikeability tests are carried out on the roads.

Children are taught the kind of observation, road positioning and defensive driving tactics that new motorists learn.

Cycling England has said it hopes that within five years all school-leaving children will have passed the test.

In the pilot scheme, which involved Merseyside, Exeter, Essex, Cornwall, Manchester, Hertfordshire, the Isle of Wight, and Kingston in London, nearly 10,000 badges were awarded.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
What the new cycling course will entail



SEE ALSO
15m boost for children's cycling
26 Jun 06 |  England
Cycling sets gold standard
12 Mar 07 |  Cycling

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific