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Minister launches new National Standard for Cycle Training
A new national body to plan and co-ordinate the development of cycling across the country, and a new National Standard for Cycle Training, were announced last week by Charlotte Atkins, the minister for local transport.
The new body, Cycling England, will have a budget of at least £5m a year for the next three years to allocate to cycling programmes. Cycling England will change the way that the government manages and delivers cycling policy to get better value from cycling investment.
One of Cycling England's first priorities will be to promote the new National Standard for Cycle Training - the successor to RoSPA's Cycling Proficiency. The new National Standard aims to increase the amount of cycle training, both among children and adults, and improve the quality and relevance of training.
"Cycling is fun, fast, green and healthy," Charlotte Atkins said. "It can contribute to a wide range of government objectives - such as accessibility, sustainability, public health - as well as reducing transport congestion.
"The new National Standard for Cycle Training will be a priority for Cycling England. We need to extend and improve training to give children and adults the skills and confidence they need to cycle on the road. Our aim is to get more people cycling, more safely, more often."
The National Standard was welcomed enthusiastically by LARSOA chair, Steve Whitehouse. "LARSOA has worked on this project - and will continue to do so - alongside a number of key players, and we are proud of our achievement and see it as a major opportunity.
"I am aware that many have concerns about how this will affect our responsibilities, and appreciate those concerns. For example, there are still operational hurdles to overcome but that should not detract from the worthwhile principle.
"LARSOA supports the National Standard for the training of cyclists but acknowledges that many individual local authorities have concerns about their ability to cope with various aspects of the introduction and roll out of the Standard, especially the accreditation of instructors.
"DfT is sympathetic to local authority concerns and appreciates that implementation make take some time. I would welcome a view from any RSO who identifies successful avenues for funding and/or implementation and will share these with others."
Steve Whitehouse can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To download the new National Standard click here.