The Bickerstaffe Record

Bickerstaffe Thoughts

Cutting bikeability, cutting big society

11.08.10 | 1 Comment

Ormskirk Advertiser, 08 July 2010

Bickerstaffe pupils complete Bikeability safety course

Junior pupils at Bickerstaffe school got on their bikes to learn how to ride safely on the road.

A new initiative called Bikeability taught the children how to perform safety checks on their bikes, practice their riding in the playground and out on the roads under qualified supervision.

The pupils were able to do the course at a bargain price thanks to a generous £200 donation by Labour councillor Paul Cotterill.

The course was set-up by Pedal Up to Safer Cycling and arranged by Bickerstaffe Children’s Services who look after nursery and after school provision at the school.

Bikeability is an updated version of the cycle proficiency test and is now offered at three levels known as National Standards for Cycle Training.

The big society in action, that is.  Volunteers, doing their thing for their local community.  The local councillor throwing a few bob in to get kids on their bikes, and school traffic off the roads.

Enter the Tories…..

Guardian, 14 October 2010


Bike quango Cycling England to be abolished

As quangos go, Cycling England is not exactly profligate. It has three permanent staff and overheads of £200,000 – a tiny fraction of its annual budget of £60m. Over three years it has spent £140m…….

Around a third went to funding Bikability – a scheme for teaching safe on-road cycling that is the successor to the old cycling proficiency test. It trained 300,000 children last year. According to the Department for Transport, responsibility for the programme will now move back to Whitehall.

Kevin Mayne at the cycling organisation CTC, who is on Cycling England’s board said that would be a disaster. “Bikability is a scheme that works on a ‘Big Society’ basis. Whenever it has been managed [outside government] it has moved forward. When it has been managed by DfT it has stood still…We can be more flexible, we don’t have to seek ministerial approval for everything and we have low overheads.”

You’d have thought the party of Norman Tebbit and Iain Duncan Smith would want kids to learn how to ride bikes. 

Perhaps they do, just not safely.

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