Cycle training for adults is being made possible thanks to an investment by the Health Improvement Commission.
Bikeability instructors already give training to school children in the island in years 5 and 6, but now this provision is being made possible for other sectors of the community. The aim is to equip even more people with the skills, confidence and knowledge to cycle on Guernsey’s roads.
‘This opportunity will support even more people to introduce active travel into their everyday lives,’ said Active Travel Officer for the Commission, Alex Costen.
‘Cycling helps both our planet and our wellbeing. Learning to cycle is also an important life skill, which we know not everyone gets a chance at in childhood.
‘We’re hoping with our commitment to start this series of courses, and if demand is there, the trainers will be available to continue to provide provision going forward.’
The adult courses are designed to equip people returning to cycling, or perhaps those that may have recently bought an e-bike, with essential road skills and confidence.
The intensive sessions will be run by highly experienced instructors and will be for small groups only.
They will begin with an off-road skills assessment and instruction in the basics like correct bike and helmet fitting.
This will quickly progress to making the right observations, road position and priority and how to communicate effectively with all road users.
After this, the riders in small groups will cycle along progressively demanding roads to introduce them to busy traffic conditions.
The goal, after one or if necessary two sessions, is to enable the participants to ride independently and with confidence wherever they choose to go. Alongside this new cycle training for adults, Bikeability will continue and have priority in local schools.
‘Instructors are teaching children an essential life skill that benefits their health and helps them make more sustainable travel choices,’ added Mrs Costen. ‘Getting children cycling when they’re young embeds active habits for life, gives them the independence to travel to school and, most importantly, helps them discover how fun cycling is.
‘We hope more parents and pupils will cycle to and from school and other everyday journeys, as we look to reduce traffic on our roads, making them safer for all and helping to reduce carbon emissions.’
The Guernsey on-island transport strategy, which was approved by the States in 2014, aims to increase the number of journeys made by alternative forms of transport, particularly active travel modes, ideally doubling the number of people travelling by foot, cycle and bus. In the UK, the ambition is for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030. The Department for Transport is allocating £2 billion over 5 years to deliver that ambition and has recently launched Active Travel England, the Executive Agency tasked with driving up the quality of cycling and walking routes, led by former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.
To sign up for a local course this summer, please email email@example.com