St Mary’s putting safety into cycling

Pupils from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Fleetwood have been undergoing road safety training. From the front are: Owen Bridge, Tai Parker, Alex Ogden, Daniel Warren, Elizabeth Bradford, Phoebe Paul, Ryan Poole and Ella Orr.

Pupils from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Fleetwood have been undergoing road safety training. From the front are: Owen Bridge, Tai Parker, Alex Ogden, Daniel Warren, Elizabeth Bradford, Phoebe Paul, Ryan Poole and Ella Orr.

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ON yer bike – but be careful! Pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Fleetwood have been involved in bicycle safety sessions.

The youngsters have been coming into school on their bikes and given advice and training over five days, through the Bikeability scheme.

Although youngsters are encouraged to come to school on their bikes, as it gives them exercise, saves on fuel emissions and reduces traffic congestion outside the school, the roads can be potentially hazardous for cyclists.

Inattention on the road and ignorance of basic safety rules can be fatal.

So the youngsters at St Mary’s were taken through their paces.

Bikeability is described as the cycling proficiency scheme for the 21st century, designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today’s roads.

Every pupil is kitted out with that vital accessory – the obligatory cycle helmet!

Joanne Wharton, St Mary’s studies support co-ordinator, said: “It is obviously important that the children know how to stay safe.

“They really enjoyed the course and finished off by going on a school ride up to the ferry – and having a few chips while they were there!”

There are three Bikeability levels. A child will usually start Bikeability lessons once they have learnt to ride a bike, with 10-11 year olds progressing through to Level 2, and then Level 3 at secondary school (11-18 year olds).

Certificates and shiny luminous badges for each level are awarded to children who successfully complete each course and children are encouraged and inspired to achieve all three levels, recognising that there is always more to learn and to enjoy on a bike.

The scheme was developed by more than 20 professional organisations including the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents and is supported by several Government departments.

So far, more than 250,000 young cyclists in the UK have been trained through Bikeability.