East Dunbartonshire pedals to success with record numbers of pupils completing on-road cycle training

11 May 2023    

The local authority area achieves 100% delivery of on-road cycle training

Over 5,000 East Dunbartonshire pupils to have completed on-road Bikeability Scotland training over the last five years by the end of 2023 term

East Dunbartonshire has become the latest local authority to achieve 100% delivery of Bikeability Scotland level-2 on-road cycle training in Scotland.

Figures collated by Cycling Scotland reveal that in the 2021-22 academic session, East Dunbartonshire successfully delivered on-road cycle training to over 1,300 primary school pupils, with the local authority area on course for full delivery at each of its primary schools again in the current 2022-23 academic year.

The local authority’s achievement comes as part of a year of success for the national cycle training programme, which saw a record 59% of primary schools across the country deliver Bikeability Scotland training in 2021-22, helping more than 52,000 children gain new key life skills.

Managed by Cycling Scotland through grant funding from Transport Scotland, Bikeability Scotland training is free for pupils. Among the benefits seen by children and their parents are improved hazard awareness, confidence, and eagerness to cycle more after the training. For schools, the training is an effective and fully funded way of delivering Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, offering outdoor learning opportunities, and supporting attainment.

Surveys have found that 65% of children were more confident cycling after Bikeability Scotland training and 82% of parents were more in favour of letting their children cycle as a result. * Additionally, research has shown that children who participate in Bikeability Level 2 training score significantly higher on hazard perception than children who have not received training. **

Councillor Lynda Williamson, Convener of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Education Committee, said: “I’m delighted that through this partnership we are able to give the young people in our schools the opportunity to learn important cycling safety skills and support them to cycle more. Taking part in the Bikeability Scotland program builds their confidence and teaches them a useful skill set for the future.

“I’d like to thank Cycling Scotland, our Outdoor Education Team and school staff for working together so well to deliver this on-road training across the area. Their commitment, in all weathers, to get pupils moving safely around on their bikes is appreciated and the feedback from families shows that they are making a difference.”

Andy Gallagher, Head Teacher at Holy Family Primary School in Lenzie, which is offering Bikeability Scotland on-road cycle training to all primary 7 pupils this summer term, said: “Pupil feedback on Bikeability Scotland sessions has been very positive, with many saying that their confidence has improved and reporting a greater interest in cycling more in future.

“From a school perspective we see this as promoting active travel, health and wellbeing and sustainability. We also recognise that Bikeability Scotland teaches life skills that will benefit pupils for years to come. We look forward to continuing the partnership and offering this excellent opportunity to future primary 7s.”

David Collins, Bikeability Scotland Manager, said: “East Dunbartonshire’s achievement of delivering Bikeability Scotland on-road cycle training at each of its primary schools deserves to be celebrated. With all of its primary schools on course to deliver the training for the second year in a row, East Dunbartonshire is providing its children with the best possible start, offering a gateway to healthier, more active lifestyles, and setting pupils up with important skills and confidence that they will take forward into later life.

“With more and more schools taking advantage of this free training programme, we’d love to see more local authorities across Scotland deliver Bikeability Scotland training to all of their pupils and follow in the footsteps of East Dunbartonshire’s success.