MORE than 200 children in the Whitehill & Bordon area will soon be learning to ride a bicycle at school.

Bordon Infant School, Woodlea Primary School, Weyford Nursery and Primary School, The Holme Primary School, St Matthew’s Primary School and Hollywater School are taking part in a cycling training scheme being run by Balanceability.

Each school will be lent ten bikes for a term, plus the other equipment and literature required to run the programme, and teachers will be given training by a Balanceability expert in how to help pupils learn to ride and master the basics of road safety.

East Hampshire District Council signed the deal with Balanceability to assist Whitehill & Bordon’s bid to become a Healthy New Town.

As well as increasing children’s independence, the training aims to improve their core strength and motor neurone skills.

Ferris Cowper, East Hampshire’s Whitehill & Bordon portfolio holder, said: “This is one of a number of initiatives to encourage young people to get out and be active, particularly in the way they travel to school.

“Part of our £1bn project in Whitehill & Bordon includes the laying of miles of cycle paths across and around the town.

“Giving young people the chance to learn how to ride a bike at an early age will open up wonderful opportunities for them and their families to enjoy our green, healthy and connected town.”

Hampshire County Council is working on transport schemes to help pedestrians and cyclists in Whitehill & Bordon, including improving roads, adding more crossing points and lowering speed limits in key locations such as the entrance to the new town centre.