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CTC Press release, June 2008

New National Cycle Training Standard:

Wales to adopt cycling proficiency for the 21st Century

Cycling is now seen as 'three generational quality time' by so many families (family group on cycle path at Deganwy marina)

Plans for a national cycle training standard across Wales were announced today (Wednesday, 25 June) in a bid to improve safety and the take-up of cycling amongst children and young people. At a Walking and Cycling and Conference in Cardiff, the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson, said the Welsh Assembly Government would be investing £250,000 to train more than 100 instructors to teach the new standards across Wales.

The aim is to increase the number of qualified instructors who can deliver cycle training to a consistent standard that prepares children and adults to cycle on today’s roads.

“The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to getting more people to cycle – as a form of transport; as a means of becoming more physically active; and as a way of getting out and enjoying our countryside,” Ms Davidson said. “We all need to reduce our carbon footprint, and cycling can help to make a real difference here – especially since the majority of car journeys are less than 5 miles long. With the cost of motoring on the rise, cycling is a cheap, healthy, and sustainable means of transport.

“So I’m delighted to announce today this new initiative which the Assembly Government is funding this year to encourage more people to cycle.”

The Cycle Training National Standards have already been adopted by a small number of local authorities in Wales, but the new money and the partnership with CTC - the UK’s national cyclists' organisation - will help ensure coverage across Wales.

Working with the CTC Charitable Trust and the Sports Council, the £250,000 funding over three years will be used to get the National Standards adopted across Wales alongside the successful Bikeability brand. CTC Director Kevin Mayne said:

“We call Bikeability cycling proficiency for the 21st Century. It gives parents and children the confidence to make their daily journeys by bike under real conditions. We are delighted that the Welsh Assembly is encouraging more people to cycle. The funding will also enable us to employ a Cycle Training Development Officer who will be dedicated to supporting all the providers of cycling activities in Wales as they get more people on their bikes."

“CTC estimate that around 10% of year 6 pupils in Wales receive some cycle training, but rarely is this undertaken on roads. We want to see this changed dramatically through a programme of work to get over 100 instructors trained in the National Standards who will then provide appropriate cycle training to schools and to adults. A new project officer is also being recruited to help co-ordinate this work,” Ms Davidson explained.

For more information or interviews contact CTC’s Media and PR Officer Victoria Hazael on 0844 736 8453 or 07786 320713

Notes to editors:

· One Wales, the Assembly Government’s programme for action up to 2011 contains a specific commitment to secure greater participation in walking and cycling and to encouraging people from all backgrounds to enjoy their natural environment. The Walking and Cycling Conference, held at Glamorgan Cricket Ground in Cardiff, is an opportunity to help the Assembly Government to shape the future actions needed to achieve this and the Walking and Cycling action plan which we will be published later this year.

· Around 150 delegates from across a broad range of sectors will be attending, and speakers include the Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones and the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson.

· The conference has been arranged by the Welsh Assembly Government in partnership with CCW, Sustrans and Sports Council for Wales.

· The Cycle Training Project will be undertaken by CTC Charitable Trust, the national cyclist organisation which has introduced national standards in cycle training in England , funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and delivered in partnership with Sports Council for Wales

· The funding from the Welsh Assembly has been given to CTC Charitable Trust which is the charitable arm of CTC - the UK’s national cyclists' organisation. CTC with 70,000 members and affiliates in 250 clubs across the UK is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK, established in 1878. CTC provide a comprehensive range of services, advice, events, and protection for members and work to promote cycling by raising public and political awareness of its health, social and environmental benefits. For more information see www.ctc.org.uk.  For information about CTC groups in Wales see http://www.ctc-wales.org.uk/ .

· Jane Davidson will meet pupils from Ysgol Mynydd Bychan primary school, Heath, Cardiff at the conference outside the Museum Building at Glamorgan Cricket Club, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff between 12.20-12.40pm on Wednesday, 25 June. You are welcome to send reporters, photographers and camera crews