The Merthyr Tydfil Road Safety section is currently offering all Primary schools in the County Borough the chance for their year 6 children to do a National Standards Course level 1 and 2. This course has replaced the old Cycling Proficiency course.
Level 1 takes place off road usually on the school yard and is designed to develop the basic control skills and understanding fundamental to being able to ride on the road. These skills include getting on and off the bike, starting, stopping, riding in a straight line, looking behind and signalling without wobbling.
Level 2 normally takes place on road , starting off with quiet junctions and roads but progressively moving to busier junctions and roads as the trainees skills, understanding and confidence develops. The list of manoeuvres and skills that the trainees learn to carry out is quite long and includes turning right and left from a minor road to a major road and vice versa, passing parked vehicles, passing side roads, understanding where to position themselves on the road and being able to explain decisions made whilst riding and thereby demonstrating an understanding of safe riding strategy.
Roadworthy cycles, helmets and hi vis jackets (for all on road work) are required.
The children are trained by 3 local fire fighters who are qualified instructors who do the training when off duty. The team of instructors can offer training up to National standards level 3, one to one MTB tuition and full bike servicing. They hold MIAS mountain leader certificates and MIAS cycle maintenance certificates.
The Road Safety section is now looking to introduce National Standards level 3 into the High schools in the County Borough.
Level 3 is for those who want to cycle further afield using busier roads and more complex road features such as (bigger) roundabouts, traffic lights and multi-lane roads. This training is normally done on a one to one basis,i.e one instructor to one trainee.
More details on the National Standards for cycle training and the three levels can be found to the right of this page.