Keeping children safe on two wheels is a primary objective

Published: Friday 8 September 2023

A man and girl wheeling bikes at Chatelherault Park, wearing Bikeability jackets.

Training to help children to be safe on two wheels is continuing throughout South Lanarkshire.

Bikeability Scotland courses are run in primary schools across the area to give young people the skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely on today's roads.

They are supported by the council and all South Lanarkshire primaries are welcome to contact the Traffic and Transportation Section to request to have a course run at their school.

Level 1 is suitable for children up to the end of Primary 5. It teaches basic competencies on a bike such as balance, control skills and making turns and is delivered in a controlled environment such as the playground.

Level 2 is intended to be delivered to Primary 6 children and teaches them how to ride a bike safely on the road and navigate basic junctions.

The training covers starting and ending a road journey, correct road-positioning, left and right turns and overtaking. An element of classroom work is also involved, covering the Highway Code, bike maintenance, safe journeys and environmental awareness.

The practical sessions of Level 2 are carried out on a risk-assessed roads after basic skills have been taught off-road.

Comprehensive training materials are provided for teachers, pupils, parents and trainers by Cycling Scotland, and participating schools can access these from the council’s Traffic and Transportation Section.

Prospective cycle-training instructors are nominated by local schools and attend a free training course – one of which is due to be held in the coming weeks. The course is run by officers from the Traffic and Transportation Section and successful completion of this course allows trainers to deliver both Level 1 and Level 2 of the Bikeability Scotland programme.

Colin Park, Head of Roads, Transportation and Fleet Services at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “Cycling is a fast-growing activity – you only need to look at the increasing numbers of bikes on the road to know that. It is great for the environment, but also boosts fitness and wellbeing as well as being an incredibly useful for of transport for many people.

“However, with that comes a need for safety, as we all know how vulnerable cyclists are. The Bikeability courses are invaluable in that respect, teaching children from the start lessons that will last a lifetime that will protect both them and other road users and mean that there is a place for everyone to enjoy our roads.”

Anyone wishing more information on the courses can visit the Primary School Road Safety section of the council’s website or the Bikeability website.