To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
(1) if he will list for each local authority the financial support given by the Department to support cycling proficiency tests in 2003–04;
(2) how many cycling proficiency tests were completed last year; and what the pass rates were for those tests, broken down by local authority.
Local authorities fund cycle training from within their overall resources for transport. We do not hold data centrally on how many cycling proficiency tests are undertaken.
The Government are supportive of cycle training and our research has shown that it is effective, with trained children found to be significantly safer than untrained children when knowledge and skills were tested two years after training. We want to see an increase in the level, and improvement in the quality, of cycle training for children.
The Department has been working closely with a number of groups to develop cycle training. With our support 'Guidelines for the management and Operation of Practical Cyclist Training Schemes' were revised and published by RoSPA in June 2000. In July 2001 the Department for Transport and the Department of Health gave grant funding amounting to £76,000 to the Cyclist Touring Club to run a three-year project to develop a cycle training scheme for adults and teenagers. This led to the development of the publication, "Adult Cycle Training—A Guide for Instructors and Organisers", which was launched in May 2003 and sent to all road safety officers. We are also working with a group of cycle training experts to develop a new National Standard for child cyclist training. This will be piloted in schools from April, with a view to a launch later in the year.