A WORLD class BMX champion gave Widnes children top safety tips for riding their bikes on busy roads.

Great Britain cycling team star Charlotte Green, aged 20, visited pupils at Lunts Heath Primary School as part of the Bikeability training programme.

She said:“With cycling flourishing and becoming one of the nation’s leading and most popular activities, having the ability to ride a bike on road is an essential life skill.

"It’s really important that the next generation of cyclists have the opportunity to develop their bike handling skills and build up their confidence to cycle safely on today’s roads.”

Halton Council has received funding from the Department of Transport to develop the cycling skills of 700 primary school pupils and 100 secondary school pupils in the next 12 months.

British Cycling’s Cycle training manager, Victoria Spencer, said: “This is the third year running that we have partnered with Halton Council to deliver Bikeability.

"Through the partnership, we aim to equip young people with the skills to make everyday trips by bike.

“We hope to inspire a new generation of safer, more confident cyclists who continue cycling for many years to come.”

British Cycling will provide three levels of courses at Halton schools.

Instructors will work with pupils aged between 10 and 14, to give them the skills and confidence to ride their bikes in a variety of road environments.

Pupils at Fairfield Primary School have already completed training.

Halton Cllr Tom McInerney, board member for transportation, said: "Cycling offers a healthy, cost effective alternative means of travel which supports this council's aim of expanding people's transport choices.

"However, it’s important that children learn to ride safely and Bikeability is the cycling proficiency for the 21st century, the scheme that gives children the skills and confidence they need to cycle in modern road conditions.

“I wholeheartedly support this initiative.”

Bikeability training is delivered in line with the national standard for cycle training.

Pupils will be taught basic bike handling skills in an off-road environment, before progressing onto quiet local roads, where they can learn about road positioning and communication with other road users.

When riders progress to level 3 Bikeability, they will use roads, junctions and roundabouts in Halton with higher volumes of traffic, focusing on those that the pupils are likely to use to make cycling trips following the course.

Bikeability is delivered in a way which builds knowledge and confidence, enabling the pupils to apply their new skills in a range of traffic environments when they become regular, independent cyclists.

For more information, visit britishcycling.org.uk/cycletraining.