National Standards cycle training
Research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), has shown that young riders benefit more from on-road training, which can aid the development of the necessary decision making skills, which are needed to cope with modern traffic. However they need to be at least nine years old to have the skills to judge the speed and position of approaching vehicles that are needed to safety cycle unsupervised. The National Standard for cycle training is built upon similar principles to training for motorcycle riders and car drivers, teaching the importance of assessing the likely risks faced by road users.
Launched in 2005, the National Standard was developed by over 20 organisations and is maintained by the Department for Transport (DfT). The training is delivered by qualified trainers and goes through three levels from Level One – Basic Skills, through Level Two – On Road Skills to Level Three – Advanced Skills.
Level One is conducted in the school play ground or on the traffic free road layout at Maindy. Level Two training is conducted on quiet local roads, in close proximity to the school or Maindy, where simple manoeuvres such as left and right turns, overtaking a parked car etc, can be carried out. Level Three is aimed at Adult cyclists who want the skills to ride on main roads. The skills required for each level are as follows and certificates are awarded where appropriate*.
Level One – The candidate can check, control and master a bike. This includes starting manoeuvring and stopping without help, including doing so quickly. The training takes place in an environment away from cars or traffic.
Level Two – The candidate can deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school, work or the local shops. This includes passing and turning left and right in and out of junctions and a basic knowledge of the Highway Code. The training is delivered on local roads giving the trainee a real cycling experience.
Level Three – The candidate can deal with hazards, make ‘on-the-move’ risk assessments and plan routes for safer cycling. This includes preparing for a journey, dealing with all types of road conditions and layouts and conditions as well as and more challenging traffic situations.
*This does not necessarily mean he or she can cope with riding a bike, particularly in traffic, when unsupervised. In the case of young or vulnerable people, it is the duty of the responsible adult to assure himself or herself that the certificate holder is capable of riding safely before they are allowed to do so unsupervised.
Adults are reminded that their primary duty of care is to ride in a safe and responsible manner and to keep their equipment adequately maintained.