The system, aligned with the school curriculum, is focused on giving children the skills they need at the right times in their lives – from learning bike handling skills in primary school through to learning road rules and how to ride on-road when they are ready. The system will also offer opportunities for adults who haven’t ridden a bike for a while, with programmes designed to help them improve their skills on both standard and e-bikes.
The Transport Agency and ACC have approved an initial $2.7 million of funding to establish the system by June 2018. The total investment including delivery of cycling education is expected to be around $24 million over four years.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says in recent years there has been a “significant drop-off in kids cycling”.
“This new system is designed to help reverse that trend and establish a safe system approach to cycling that will see a return of more kids getting around by bike every day.”
ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse says bike-related injury claims to ACC have increased by 25 per cent over the past five years.
“Many Councils around New Zealand are already delivering some cycling education. This new national approach, designed and delivered jointly by central and local government, and the community, will build on the great work already underway. This is all about making it more effective and reaching more people and being able to assess its impact on improving safety and encouraging more people to ride.”
Bridges says the national programme will apply best practice, some of it home-grown right here in New Zealand.
“We are leading the world with our Bikes in Schools programme. By 2021 our goal by is to double the number of children currently receiving on-road training and to double the number of schools running the Bikes in Schools programme.”