TABS, the Association of Bikeability Schemes, has issued a statement confirming that it does not believe cycle training takes the place of good cycling infrastructure, such as cycleways. This topic is often controversial on social media, with some cycle advocates stating that the money pumped into Bikeability by the Department for Transport would be better spent on protected bicycle infrastructure.
Bikeability is "cycling proficiency for the 21st century", designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on and away from roads. TABS is a body set up to represent the cycle training industry. The TABS statement is short and to the point: "Training is not an alternative to good infrastructure but one of many measures that encourage cycling."
On social media it is sometimes mentioned that Dutch children don’t need cycle training because they can get to and from school on protected cycling infrastructure. In fact, Dutch children do receive cycle training, partly because they sometimes have to share roads with motor vehicles.
Tej Mistry, the CTC representative on the TABS board, said: "The importance of infrastructure is clear, as is the continued requirement for improved conditions, facilities, and engineering advancements."
Mistry added: "Fundamentally, cycling is a safe activity whether for leisure, recreation or transport. Encouraging people to cycle brings an array of wider benefits.
"A key element to increasing levels of cycling is education through cycle training to support the development of new cyclists through confidence-building and skills development. Training, especially for young people through Bikeability, will drive long-term health and social benefits for society."