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Bikeability is the national programme for cycle training in England, Wales, and Scotland. The programme is purely voluntary - schools may sign up to host classes for children. Adults may also join classes. In England and Wales, the programme is based on the National Standard for Cycle Training, a UK Government standard run by the Department for Transport and approved by RoSPA, Road Safety GB, British Cycling, CTC, Sustrans and Cycling England.
Bikeability is also a term for the extent to which an environment is friendly for bicycling.
There are three levels to Bikeability:
- Level 1 (red badge) covers basic bike handling skills and is delivered in a traffic-free environment, such as a playground
- Level 2 (amber badge) is taught on quiet roads but in real traffic conditions and covers simple manoeuvres and road sense
- Level 3 (green badge) covers more complex situations and equips the cyclist to handle a wide range of traffic conditions and road layouts.
Bikeability is an all-ages programme. The lower levels replace the Cycling Proficiency scheme, which was targeted mainly at children. Levels 2 and 3 correspond to the skills delivered by the US Effective Cycling programme developed by John Forester.
Training for children and adults alike progresses through the three levels. Schools training is often over four to six weeks, during normal school hours, starting off with control skills and progressing to on-road training but not necessarily reaching Level 3. There is no test. On completion children may be awarded badges, booklets and/or certificates.
This programme is now being delivered across the United Kingdom, usually with some form of government funding for training in schools and sometimes with subsidised or free training for adults.
Administration and management
Bikeability is administered by the Department for Transport. In order to be able to use the Bikeability name and to be able to award Bikeability badges, a 'scheme' must be registered by Cycling England. In addition to guaranteeing that its instructors are qualified National Standard Instructors and that training will be delivered according to the National Standard, a scheme must give evidence that it has appropriate insurance, child protection policies and risk assessment processes.
The Cycle Training Standards Board controls the standard of training of instructors and the standard of cycle training to be delivered to children and adults.
The Bikeability programme is delivered in Scotland under the name Bikeability Scotland. It is managed by Cycling Scotland, and delivered by a combination of local authority officers such as Road Safety Officers, Active School Coordinators and volunteers.
- Official website for England and Wales
- Official website for Scotland
- Cycle Training UK
- The Association of Bikeability Schemes