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Cash boost for hugely successful cycle training programme - 13.11.09

Sutton Council has won an injection of extra funding to support a massive increase in take up of free cycle training.

Transport for London (TfL) is providing an additional £30,000 to Sutton's cycle training scheme this year, on top of an initial grant of £108,000.

More children and adults than ever before are learning to cycle safely in free sessions offered by the borough's cycling officers. Almost 2,200 pupils have taken courses since April as well as over 100 adults – in previous years fewer than 10 adults have taken up the offer.

This surge in demand, help by promotion of cycle training by Smarter Travel Sutton, meant that the service was oversubscribed and unable to offer any more courses in the current financial year. The additional £30,000 will help meet the extra demand.

The borough's cycling officers also run after school clubs at a number of the borough's schools and also support the annual Sutton schools cycling championship.

Cllr Colin Hall, Executive Member for Environment on Sutton Council, said:

"There has been an enormous 85% increase in cycling in the borough thanks to the Smarter Travel Sutton programme.

"More people than ever are enjoying the health and financial benefits of travelling by bike. For short journeys it's often the quickest option too and helps cut congestion on our roads.

"As more people get on their bike we want them to do so safely and that's why these excellent, free sessions are so important. They help both absolute beginners and those who have simply not cycled for years and need to refresh their riding skills.

"I'm really encouraged that more children are cycling, particularly to and from school, and hope that it's a habit they continue in adult life."

To find out more about free cycling training in Sutton please call Steve Wright on 020 8770 5070 or go to www.sutton.gov.uk

Last updated: Friday, 13 November 2009

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