AROUND 7,000 Devon school children are to benefit from Bikeability cycle training over the next year after the county council successfully bid for government funding.

Devon County Council will receive a £280,000 grant from the Department for Transport in April to continue providing Bikeability cycle training in the county in 2013/14.

Bikeability is a national initiative offering cycling proficiency for the 21st Century, which has been adopted by Devon County Council as the cycle training standard in the county.

More than 20,000 schoolchildren in the county have received Bikeability training from Devon County Council since it started its delivery in Exeter in 2006 and extended it countywide in 2010. Schoolchildren who take part are given real cycling experience and skills to equip them to confidently deal with traffic on short journeys, such as cycling to school.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Bikeability training in Devon goes from strength to strength, and this latest grant allocation is recognition of our success in delivering training to a high standard. Last year around 6,500 schoolchildren in the county received Bikeability training from Devon County Council, and it’s great that even more will get to benefit over the next 12 months.

“Not only does Bikeability provide youngsters with essential cycling skills and confidence, but it also promotes road safety awareness. Our aim is for every primary school in Devon to host Bikeability Level 2 courses for all children over nine years old so that it encourages greater use of cycling as a sustainable form of transport, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.”

For more information on cycling in Devon or to book Bikeability courses in your school, go to