Yesterday the Department for Transport announced that its first commitment under the new structure, Cycling England, will be a grant to support CTC in setting up a cycle training helpline. This went live today (say hello to Greg) and will help potential trainers and trainees get the information and support they need to implement the new national standards for cycle training. There's also an online version of the hotline.

Cycle training hotline gets cash, goes live

The hotline is 0870 6070415, with calls charged at the national rate.

Today the calls are being answered by Greg Woodford, CTC’s cycle training officer. From Monday a new member of staff will be answering the calls and, in the medium term, CTC plans to have two full-time members of staff fielding ‘Is this cycling profiency, then?’ questions.

Many organisations have helped create the successor to the cycle proficiency test. But the National Standard is much bigger than this nationally-patchy, school-based test. And it’s for adults, not just children.

CTC’s aim is to set up a single point of contact where users can find any information they need; from where to get trained, to publications and instructors’ insurance.

The scheme has been ready to roll from some time but CTC needed a pledge of government funding to press the go button.

This was pressed yesterday by Charlotte Atkins MP, the parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Transport, at a cycling and social inclusion conference organised by Lifecycle UK in Bristol.

CTC’s role in the creation of the national standard for adult cycle training, and the only nationally-recognised accreditation scheme for instructors to this standard, has made it ideally qualified to provide this new telephone and online service.

CTC director Kevin Mayne, who has also been invited to become a board member of Cycling England, said:

“I am delighted that the government has listened to the advice given by its consultees and made this strong commitment to cycle training. The helpline is part of the action plan put together for cycle training by CTC after our own review in 2002, most of which has now been supported by government and our many partners. We now have to work together to create an environment where every child in the UK can be taught to make a safe cycle journey on the road.”

Charlotte Atkins said: “I have agreed with the newly appointed chair of Cycling England, Phillip Darnton, that the first priority for Cycling England will be the roll-out of the new National Standard for Cycle Training. It is an important first step in a long-term, incremental effort to extend and improve cycle training in light of the transport, health and environmental benefits cycling can bring.

"I am delighted we are funding the CTC Helpline service. It demonstrates our commitment to cycle training and the commitment we made in the Future of Transport White Paper to work more closely with the voluntary sector to maximise their contribution to increasing cycling levels."

CTC training ‘hotline’ online presence:

Tons of other cycle training national standard links:

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