Safer cycling is coming to Cranbrook

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By RozzH1 | Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 10:45

Good news - cycling safety in Cranbrook is set to improve, thanks to a £200,000 cash boost to Kent to expand the Bikeability Cycle training scheme.

Bikeability – the National Standard for Cycle Training – is one of a number of initiatives run by the county council aimed at making cyclists safer. It will now be offered to a much wider age-range of children.

KCC is working with Kent School Games Organisers to make sure all Year 6 pupils can sign up for Bikeability training. In addition, a higher, advanced level of training will be trialled in a number of secondary schools.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste, Bryan Sweetland, said: 

"Thousands of children in Kent enjoy the opportunity to ride under the supervision of instructors every year. These lessons are important to helping children safely deal with a variety of roads and paths, and they stay with people for life – everyone can remember their cycle training at school.

"We can now offer training to older children and we will be trialling a higher level of training. This is great news for our school children."

Elsewhere, Kent County Council has been at the forefront of promoting cycling safety and awareness of bike riders among drivers.

A team of Road Safety Officers work with schools across the county to promote a series of campaigns, including CycleSafe and the B-Viz scheme – which aims to make children more visible to drivers when the dark nights draw in.

Almost all cyclists injured on the roads are involved in crashes with cars and, to a lesser extent, with lorries.  The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) highlights how heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) present a particular danger for cyclists, with crashes often occurring when an HGV is turning left at a junction. 

To address this, Kent also targets drivers with campaigns, such as last summer's 'Urban Roads' publicity and the complementary 'Country Roads' promotion, that raise drivers' awareness of cyclists and the dangers of driving at inappropriate speeds.

During pre-driver education courses in schools, KCC Road Safety Officers discuss a range of hazards on the road and how to best negotiate them – specifically the need to provide distance from cyclists and the need to be aware of their potential presence.

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