Cycling Education / Education / Mobility / Traffic safety

Cycling Training in Scottish Schools - Learning from International Practice

If Mobycon’s mission is to make the world less dependent on cars, then an important step in achieving that is to making cycling safe and accessible for our younger generations to build healthy habits for the future. This was Angela van der Kloof’s focus for our project with Cycling Scotland. Bikeability Scotland, the nation’s flagship training programme for children, already existed to provide lessons for children. The challenge was how to bring cycle training to every student in Scotland. Whether through a lack of resources (funding, volunteers, etc.), the non-compulsory nature of the training or even access to a bicycle, there was no guarantee that children could access the lessons in the first place.

Looking at the existing programme and researching international examples of cycling education programmes, Mobycon provided a list of recommendations and best-practices. The aim was to help overcome the challenges that existed for Cycling Scotland. By examining approaches used in Belgium, the United states and, of course, the Netherlands, we were able to see which methods were successful and also learn from mistakes. The resulting report provided Cycling Scotland with tangible examples that could be implemented in the country to assist in building cycling competence and confidents in Scottish children across the country.

Providing realistic goals to promote cycling

Practical recommendations included: training teachers and parent volunteers to provide in-school lessons, improve access to bicycles for all students to reduce barriers for those of lower socio-economic standing and creating mobile traffic parks where students could learn how to navigate traffic in a controlled environment. It was also suggested that a traffic safety exam be implemented similar to that performed by Dutch schools nationwide. They even proposed using VR training to allows students to experience what it would feel like to ride in traffic without being put in a challenging situation before they are ready. The final report also included a number of recommendations for improving the perception of cycling among students and in the school community beyond more specific programming options.

A successful, relevant tool

“This project provided a great opportunity for Cycling Scotland to benefit from the expertise of Angela van der Kloof and her colleagues at Mobycon,” said Christopher Johnson, Head of Education and Training for Cycling Scotland. “They demonstrated full understanding of our requirements and involved wider stakeholders to produce a report directly relevant for our future strategy development.”

Following the delivery of the final report, Christopher is pleased to report Cycling Scotland is moving forward with a number of the suggested recommendations as they begin initiating the next stages of their programming. For our part, Mobycon is pleased to help share what has worked for encouraging students to cycle in the Netherlands and abroad and help encourage Scotland along on their journey to being more cycle-friendly.

To learn more about our work to support Cycle Training for various groups, please contact Angela.

About Angela

Angela van der KloofAngela is a Senior Advisor for Sustainable Mobility, Cycling Education and Behaviour based in out Delft and ‘s Hertegenbosch offices.

‘Planning, promotion and education for cycling are great tools that contribute to making places thrive, people participate and be healthy, as well as to the quality of the living environment.’

a.vanderkloof@mobycon.com; +31 (0)6 333 056 28

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