The new National Standard for cycle training in England has been operational for some months but it got its official, hard-launch in Tuesday's White paper on Public Health.

The cycling proficiency test is dead; long live the National Standard

The part that cycling has to play in improving public health received a formal endorsement from government on Tuesday – see link below – as support for nationally-recognised training for cyclists was announced as part of the Public Health White Paper. This is the National Standard. There’s now no such things as the ‘cycling proficiency test’.

CTC director Kevin Mayne said: “Formal recognition of cycling as a means of delivering greater public health is overdue, and we are delighted that proposals for investment in cycle training, which CTC first put to Government two years ago, have now been agreed to.”

The government has committed to “drive forward action to implement the standard to improve cycle training for children across England by 2005-06" by establishing a formal cycle training and curriculum body – the Cycle Training Reference Group; funding instructor training schemes and accrediting existing training schemes and centres; providing a help desk and web database of trainers to support local authorities, schools and parents administer the National Standard.

The Cycle Training Reference Group was created by CTC and the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association last year to bring together all the expertise in the field and will now be formally recognised by government as a specialist advisory group. CTC was funded by the Department for Transport Cycling Projects Fund grant to create a standard qualification for cycle training instructors.

The Department for Transport has entered into negotiations with CTC to provide the help desk and national database of trainers mentioned in the White Paper.

“As part of the drive to improve levels of physical activity across the UK health professionals will be able find accredited instructors and schemes throughout the country,” said Mayne.

"Studies have shown that training for cyclists encourages people to cycle further, with more confidence and more regularly."

CTC’s cycle training projects manager Kieran Flynn said: “Measures such as cycle training are very effective in increasing both the safety and number of cyclists on the road. This will enable people who are considering using their bike to get to work or to replace the car for short journeys."


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