Surrey County Council will receive £240,000 worth of Government funding to help people how to cycle safely.
The money is the county’s share of an £11 million pot of cash set aside nationally by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker for the cycle training scheme Bikeability.
The £240,000 will pay for cycling skills to be taught in smaller groups, meaning cyclists will get higher quality tuition and more one-to-one time with instructors. The money will also be used to keep the cost of taking a Bikeability scheme at the current price*.
The Government funding is a welcome boost to Surrey County Council and Surrey Police’s Cycle SMART campaign which aims to increase safety for cyclists.
Bikeability is already popular in Surrey, with 11,000 people taking the courses last year alone. It has traditionally been provided for children but Surrey County Council is looking at expanding the scheme to allow more adults to take part.
David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Bikeability courses have proved invaluable in giving people the skills and confidence they need to ride on the road safely and have already proved popular in Surrey.
“This funding will allow us to provide cycle training for thousands of people and, along with our Cycle SMART campaign, encourage more people to get on their bikes and ride safely.”
Norman Baker, Local Transport Minister, said: “It is vital that the next generation of cyclists is well prepared with the skills and confidence to ride safely and well on modern roads and this funding ensures that many more thousands of children will receive the solid grounding to set them up as lifelong cyclists.”
Superintendent Sharon Bush from Surrey Police said: “As we approach the 2012 Olympic cycling events in Surrey, and with a significant increase in cycling as a leisure activity, this funding will be a great boost in educating a new generation of road users in how to ride safely.
“Surrey Police officers will continue to work closely with cycling groups to encourage safer cycling. We will also continue to promote the Cycle SMART initiative together with Drive SMART which targets anti-social driving.
“In the run-up to the Games we understand lots of cycling enthusiasts will want to ride the route, particularly at one of the key focal points of the road cycling event at Box Hill. While it is important that cyclists enjoy the area we ask they do so responsibly and be mindful of local communities and other road users.”
Journalists are invited to brush up on their cycling skills for a story and take part in a Bikeability course. Those interested should contact James Oxley on the details below.
For more information contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley on 0208 541 7259 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
* Bikeability courses cost participants £11 for a three hour level one course, or £22 for a seven and a half hour level two course.
For more information on Surrey County Council’s Cycle SMART and Drive SMART campaigns visit www.drivesmartsurrey.org.uk.