The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning is this week hosting a bicycle instructor-training course to support its wider STTPP policies. This very important initiative will help promote safe and responsible cycling across the board.

The training programme conforms to the recommendations and principles of the UK National Standards for Cycle Training. This entails a 4-day course comprised of a mixture of both classroom-based learning and practical activities. These aim to provide future instructors with the necessary practice and competence in each of the 3 levels of the National Cycle Training Standards as set out by the Bikeability Trust in the UK.

On completion of the instructor-training course, successful participants will receive accreditation to be able to offer a modernised cycle proficiency-training programme that offers practical skills and understanding on how to cycle safely on roads.

Cycle proficiency courses aim to improve cycling skills to individuals affording them the necessary basic skills via 3 structured levels. Level 1 concentrates on perfecting cyclist balance and control while level 3 finally empowers individuals to be able to ride independently and safely within a realistic urban environment.

The first step to be able to achieve these high quality standards is to provide the necessary training to potential instructors to be able to deliver these courses to schools, youth clubs and to the general public who may be interested in receiving such training.

The initiative aims to promote cycling through cycle training courses in keeping with the recommendations of the Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan to promote more sustainable forms of transport.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning says it aims to make these cycling proficiency courses more widely available in due course. The initiative also aims to promote the safe use of bicycles and encourage adults who have never had the opportunity to learn as children to be able to do so.

There is a misconception that if a person never learned to cycle as a child, that it is impossible to learn as an adult. However, it is NEVER too late!

The Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Paul Balban, said: “I am delighted to be able to modernise and take cycling proficiency that step further and build upon something carried out so well and professionally by the Royal Gibraltar Police for so many years as part of their community outreach programme by way of their school liaison officers. We have been working with the RGP who are actively participating in this course. I expect that by empowering children and other potential cyclists, we will be able to encourage an increase in the use of this alternative mode of healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transport, which is one of the core aims of the STTPP.