CyclingEdinburgh.info

Cycle Training – any chance of progress?

Posted by chdot on March 10, 2010

Tomorrow Meadows/Morningside councillor Alison Johnstone is set to ask supplementary questions to follow up on the answers she has received to recent questions.

QUESTION NO 14 By Councillor Johnstone to be answered by the Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee at a meeting of the Council on 11 March 2010
Question (1) How many children in P6 and P7 in City of Edinburgh primary schools are currently receiving cycle training?  Please provide the response in actual pupil numbers, and as a percentage of all P6/7 pupils.
Answer (1) 1,113 P6/P7 pupils received cycle training in 2008-9.  This is 16.2% of the total number of P6 and P7 pupils.
Question (2) Does the City of Edinburgh Council have a target number of pupils it aims to deliver cycle training to and a date by which it aims to reach this target?
Answer (2) The City of Edinburgh Council does not have a target number of pupils for cycle training, neither is there a national target.  Each school decides whether or not to offer cycle training, taking account of safety issues and costs for parents.

16.2% really is pretty unimpressive in the City that aspires to have 15% of all journeys by bike by 2020.

Some of the 90 pupils trained at
Sciennes Primary last year

Of course that initiative is from City Development, Cycle Training is the responsibility of  Children and Families.

The answers above show that the responsibility has been shifted onto individual Head Teachers. South Morningside Primary in Ms. Johnstone’s ward is one of the few schools in Edinburgh that makes sure that (almost) all pupils do CT in school time.

Overall responsibility for CT in Scotland is held by Road Safety Scotland. “Road Safety Scotland started its existence as the Scottish Road Safety Campaign and was founded in 1985. It is funded by the Scottish Government and its remit is to develop and co-ordinate Scotland-wide road safety initiatives and campaigns. Road Safety Scotland works closely with all local authority and police Road Safety Units in an attempt to ensure a co-ordinated approach to road safety in Scotland.

RSS develops and provides the resources for a range of road safety initiatives including the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme. In turn these are made available to all local authorities. In Edinburgh they are handled by the Active Schools Co-ordinators. Funding for the posts comes from sportscotland. Cycle Training is only a small part of their activity/sport responsibilities. In general they don’t deliver CT but train volunteers – if schools are motivated to ask for, and able to find, suitable volunteers – usually parents.

So it’s perhaps surprising that as many as 16.2% of Edinburgh’s primary school children get the chance to learn some basic road sense and cycling skills.

It’s all a bit random and not a suitable system in a City and Country that want people (especially children) to be more active and also walk and cycle more. Many of today’s parents don’t cycle, so it’s not really surprising that schools find it hard to find volunteers.

Will Edinburgh’s Councillors show some leadership tomorrow?

3 Responses to “Cycle Training – any chance of progress?”

  1. kimharding said

    If the 15% of all journeys by bike by 2020 target is ever to be reached, we have to get a lot more adults cycling. It is all very well training children in P6 and P7, but over half of them will stop cycling to school as soon as they go to secondary school, and most will have stopped cycling by the time they reach the age of 17. We need a far more coordinated approach to getting adults cycling. Why is it that parents think that the roads are too dangerous? Too much traffic, too many cars? What is it that makes the roads dangerous? Adults in cars! If you can get the adults cycling and you can make the roads safer!!

  2. chdot said

    It’s not about kids or adult training. Need BOTH.

    IN school SHOULD be easy to organise. Need COMMITMENT – which CEC doesn’t demonstrate.

    Kids often give up cycling in teenage years, but those who see it as ‘normal’ are more likely to return.

    They need encouragement by ‘society’, parents AND schools.

  3. Cycle training needs to start earlier than primary 6 and 7. More like primary 3 or 4 at the latest. The parents also need to be involved to keep them cycling, and also slowly get the parents cycling too.

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