CYCLING hit the headlines for all the right reasons during London 2012.
As Victoria Pendleton, Sarah Storey and Sir Chris Hoy inspired a generation to saddle up, cyclists could be seen everywhere.
But last week two prominent riders, Tour De France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins and Team GB head coach Shane Sutton were hit by motorists while riding on North West roads.
Now town hall bosses are moving to reassure cyclists of their safety on the roads, offering wary cyclists the skills and confidence to ride on the roads.
Operation Astride was launched in Kirkham following complaints from residents about cyclists on the pavement, a practice which is illegal.
But keen to use education before enforcement, officers will invite cyclists to lessons to improve confidence and offer tips on bike maintenance.
PCSO Jacqui Marwick, from Kirkham neighbourhood police team, said: “Cyclists on pavements will be stopped and spoken to by officers to determine the reasons behind their riding behaviour.
“If it is because they lack the confidence to go on the road they will be offered the chance to take part in either group or one-on-one cycling lessons. If their bike is not roadworthy or they do not know how to maintain their bike then they will be invited to attend a basic bike maintenance class.”
Cyclists in Blackpool can also take up a course to build their confidence and proficiency cycling on roads.
Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport at Blackpool Council, said: “The main reason people resort to cycling on pavements is a lack of confidence – that’s why we’ve put on special cycle training courses to help people get up to speed and back onto the road.
“Cycling is a very good, cheap and healthy form of travel – but people have to be alert and visible, just as if they were in a car.”
To book a place on a cycle training confidence course with Blackpool Council, call (01253) 476182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the Lancashire County Council scheme please contact www.govelo.co.uk or telephone (01282) 787464.