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Cycling safety lessons to be offered at every school in the region

WATCH: ITV Anglia's Emily Knight reports on the expansion of the Bikeability scheme.

The Cycling Minister has announced that bike safety scheme will be extended nationwide in a visit to a primary school in Daventry.

The initiative, known as 'Bikeability', is currently only offered at selected schools in England. Children on the course are taught fundamental bike handling and safety skills.

In a visit to Newnham Primary, Chris Heaton-Harris said that an extra 400,000 places will be offered on the scheme, meaning every child outside of London would be able to access the training.

He said the government sees the scheme as a way to meet their carbon emissions targets.

Chris Heaton-Harris (third from left) was joined by professional cyclist Andy Tennant (second from right) in Daventry Credit: ITV Anglia

“Cycling is a fun and enjoyable way for children to get to school, the shops or see their friends. It is also environmentally friendly and has a positive impact on their mental and physical health.

“Extending Bikeability training will inspire the next generation to take to the roads as confident and proficient cyclists and will play an important role in helping us meet our net-zero emission targets.”

– Chris Heaton-Harris, Cycling and Walking Minister

The government have also announced £20m in funding for local authorities to develop sustainable transport projects.

Norfolk County Council have received £496,000 from that pot, although they are the only authority in the Anglia region to benefit.

The extension of Bikeability has been supported by cycling groups, with representatives from Cycling UK and Sustrans backing the scheme.

“We welcome the intention to extend Bikeability training to all school children. Walking and cycling for shorter journeys provide great health and environmental benefits.

“And with road transport now accounting for 27% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, making them easier and accessible to more people is one of the best ways to reach our carbon-zero targets.”

– Xavier Brice, CEO of Sustrans