Nicola Fell is the Bikeability Coordinator at West Lothian Leisure, here she explains why the West Lothian Cycle Circuit will break down the barriers to cycling and get more kids on bikes.
As the Bikeability Coordinator I have been delivering Bikeability and speaking to West Lothian primary schools about getting Bikeability in their school for the last year and a half.
Bikeability Scotland, the modern day form of cycling proficiency, is a national scheme designed for delivery within the school setting. It comprises of 3 main levels, aimed at giving children the skills and confidence they need, both to cycle safely on the roads, and to encourage them to carry on cycling into adulthood.
Level 1 is designed to be delivered in the playground. Level 2 is the core of the programme and is intended for delivery on a quiet on road venue focusing on signalling and observation. The main objective of Level 2 is to allow trainees to develop the skills which will allow them to cycle safely on our roads.
Through speaking with schools one of the main barriers to delivering Bikeability Level 2 is the reluctance to take the pupils out onto real roads.
The West Lothian Cycle Circuit will be within walking distance for 3 local schools and with its painted road markings this should really help to break down these barriers giving local primary schools the opportunity to practice the Level 2 outcomes in a traffic free environment.
The Circuit will also give children who are not yet comfortable to ride on the roads the chance to build their confidence and practice their on-road manoeuvres in a safe environment, developing the next generation of safe cyclists.
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