Kent CC opt for own training scheme

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John Holiday
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Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby John Holiday » 29 Jul 2011, 8:31pm

I notice from the latest Newsletter that Kent County Council have opted to abandon Bikeability & arrange their own training,which sounds like an old style "Cycle Proficiency" with all its limitations.
Why on earth would they choose to do this when everywhere else is working to National Standards?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Jul 2011, 7:53am

If the "Wear a helmet or you will die" video is any hallmark I wouldn't hold out much hope.

stork
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby stork » 20 Sep 2011, 8:00pm

Kent are not alone in taking this approach. Norfolk County Council offer training which 'closely approaches the national “Bikeability” levels one and two'.

http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/Travel_and_transport/Road_safety/Road_safety_education/NCC070939

Sadly, it is clear from the student and instructor handbooks (linked from the same page) that the training does not approach the national standard, even remotely. Nothing useful on positioning, nothing on cycle lanes, and just a menu of dangerous and stupid ways to carry out manoeuvres.

Unfortunately, this lack of understanding of the standard also seems to permeate through to the design of 'facilities' in the County.

How best to challenge them over this and get them to provide proper training? I have approximately 3-4 years before my older child will be ready for the training.

TonyR
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby TonyR » 20 Sep 2011, 10:34pm

stork wrote:Sadly, it is clear from the student and instructor handbooks (linked from the same page) that the training does not approach the national standard, even remotely. Nothing useful on positioning, nothing on cycle lanes, and just a menu of dangerous and stupid ways to carry out manoeuvres.

Unfortunately, this lack of understanding of the standard also seems to permeate through to the design of 'facilities' in the County.


Bikeability must be a nightmare for Council's hoping to get away with crap cycle lanes. So its no wonder they make sure their cycle training doesn't give the trainees insight into the truth.

stork
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby stork » 22 Sep 2011, 10:16am

Even worse, it creates generations of trainees who eventually become drivers and who believe that cyclists should ride consistently 60cm (or less) from the kerb and that we should use said facilities regardless of how inconvenient or unsafe they are.

Vorpal
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby Vorpal » 22 Sep 2011, 10:41am

stork wrote:Kent are not alone in taking this approach. Norfolk County Council offer training which 'closely approaches the national “Bikeability” levels one and two'.

http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/Travel_and_transport/Road_safety/Road_safety_education/NCC070939

Sadly, it is clear from the student and instructor handbooks (linked from the same page) that the training does not approach the national standard, even remotely. Nothing useful on positioning, nothing on cycle lanes, and just a menu of dangerous and stupid ways to carry out manoeuvres.

Unfortunately, this lack of understanding of the standard also seems to permeate through to the design of 'facilities' in the County.

How best to challenge them over this and get them to provide proper training? I have approximately 3-4 years before my older child will be ready for the training.


To say this 'closely approaches the national “Bikeability” levels one and two' is misrepresentation. While the level 1 (playground) is similar, the level two clearly is not. When I first started looking through the instructor's manual, I thought that the main differences were in terminology. And then I saw that after the teaching a right turn (properly), they also teach 'wait left to turn right'. Idiocy.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

keepontriking
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby keepontriking » 29 Sep 2011, 5:52pm

Vorpal wrote:To say this 'closely approaches the national “Bikeability” levels one and two' is misrepresentation.....And then I saw that after the teaching a right turn (properly), they also teach 'wait left to turn right'. Idiocy.


Saw a group from a Hampshire school yesterday being told to pull into the left, stop, and wait before turning right.
Training was even on a residential junction without any traffic in sight.

I suggest many LA's provide training just to tick the box, rather than to teach safe cycling.

Vorpal
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby Vorpal » 29 Sep 2011, 9:20pm

The thing is though, they don't get funding from central government if they run their own training. If they use national standards, the do get funding from central government. Some local authorities have recently invested substiantially in training to ensure that all of their instructors are teaching to national standards just for that reason.

It makes no sense for Norfolk and Kent to go do their own thing. :evil:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

TonyR
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby TonyR » 29 Sep 2011, 9:44pm

Doesn't matter how badly you cycle in Kent as long as you wear a helmet so why spend any money on cycle training?

http://digital.kent.gov.uk/3453

John Holiday
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby John Holiday » 30 Sep 2011, 3:17pm

If as you point out, the Local Authorities are able to fund Training from DfT funds,why on earth would they ignore that funding!
Most LAs have 'Cycling Officers',though for many it's just a 'box ticking' exercise.
Presumably, the CO should be able to advise the Authority on a correct course of action.

keepontriking
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby keepontriking » 30 Sep 2011, 4:29pm

John Holiday wrote:If as you point out, the Local Authorities are able to fund Training from DfT funds,why on earth would they ignore that funding!


Just because they take the funding doesn't mean they deliver training to the required standards.
Where are the checks? Where are the standards being assessed?
LA's can impose sub-standard requirements upon training providers, some of whom may then accept them just to get the contract.

I have seen this happen.

stork
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Re: Kent CC opt for own training scheme

Postby stork » 6 Oct 2011, 1:50pm

I don't think that Norfolk have a cycling officer.

I've now had an explanation for why they don't (and have no intention or desire to) do Bikeability, although I'm far from convinced of the merit of that explanation.

For example, on the question of positioning, I was told that they just seek to instil 'core skills' (gutter cycling?) and that they would not advocate a 'stronger' position than 60cm from the kerb anyway. I would have thought that a core skill would be to avoid cycling any closer to the kerby than 50-60cm even when in secondary position, and either to 'take the lane' where appropriate (e.g. where overtaking would not be safe) or to take secondary where safe to do so.