L-plates for cyclists: BSM to offer cycle training

Britain’s largest driver training company, owned by the RAC, is to trial a child cycle training scheme in March. If successful, the scheme could be rolled out across the UK and would include adult and family cycle training. Such a scheme would create more cyclists and, if taken up by schools nationwide, would also mean drivers of the future would have experienced two-wheeled travel first, making them more considerate towards cyclists.
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In March, BSM – the British School of Motoring – is to trial a cycle training scheme in Derby. The scheme would be school-based and would involve 11-14 year olds. Three schools have been chosen for the trial and 150 students are expected to take part.

The scheme is being supported by Derbyshire County Council and their safer routes to school initiatives. The Transport Research Laboratory will evaluate the results of the trial.

Andy Brown, manager of BSM’s education programme, told BikeBiz.co.uk he had great hopes the trial would prove a success and that similar school-based schemes could be rolled out nationwide.

“We are not big, bad BSM trying to impose our will on cyclists. We’ve been working on our scheme for many months and have liaised with organisations such as the CTC, who clearly know a lot more about cycling than we do.

“When cycle training national standards are agreed upon, something the CTC is working on, we will meet those standards.

“There are a scattering of regionally based cycle training businesses but what BSM can offer is scale. A national and commercial cycle training offering can only do good for cycling.”

BSM has recently started to offer motorcycle lessons and the cycle skills training is seen as an extension of BSM’s “two wheeled offering”, said Brown.

If the Derbyshire trial is a success, BSM would look to also offer adult cycle training schemes – similar to those pioneered by the York road safety team – as well as cycle training schemes for families.

“We want to encourage cycling,” said Brown.

“It’s important that people’s fears are alleviated and training can help boost confidence.”

BSM has 107 sales outlets, most of them on high street locations throughout the UK. They would offer child and adult cycle training packages, alongside learner driver courses.

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