LA Case Study: Calthorpe Park Playcentre, Birmingham

Principle 7. Work in Partnership

Bike Repair

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Develop links with supporting agencies such as police, fire and rescue, local authorities, and educational charities where these add value to work carried out in schools and other settings. Work with parents/carers and members of the wider community by seeking their views, providing information and guidance and involving them in developing and implementing solutions.

Calthorpe Park Playcentre (part of Hall Green District Play Service) caters for children aged 4-13 years mainly living in or attending schools in Sparkbrook, Moseley and Kings Heath wards and across Hall Green Constituency of Birmingham. They offer: Open Access and Support access, Play Care Play service, Holiday Playscheme Provision.

Centre manager, Foster Darby, has decided to organise a monthly event that includes bike riding and repairs in partnership with other council departments, agencies and local companies after concerns about children riding unsafe bikes in the local area. Foster said, "I stood outside the centre recently when the sun was really hot and I just noticed the number of children and young people around on their bikes... That was pleasing to see but I was concerned that some of them looked unsafe so I decided to organise the first day in May."

Foster has worked with Bikeability through Birmingham City Council's Road Safety Department running bike riding taster workshops, Streetwatch through West Midlands Police, Balsall Heath Forum's Community Wardens, Birmingham Bike Foundry doing free bike repairs, Tenant Participation and Housing Officers.

Accidents involving child cyclists are often the result of the child playing, doing tricks, riding too fast or losing control. For teenage and adult cyclists, accidents are more likely to involve collisions with motor vehicles, but about 16% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents reported to the police do not involve a collision with another vehicle, but are caused by the rider losing control of their bicycle.

In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, the most common key contributory factor recorded by the police is 'failed to look properly' by either the driver or rider, especially at junctions. 'Failed to look properly' was attributed to the car driver in 57% of serious collisions and to the cyclist in 43% of serious collisions at junctions. For further information please see Cycling Accidents - Facts & Figures (July 2012)

Foster added, "The day has been a great success even though the weather has not been great. I plan to organise this event monthly, but I would also like to add an interfaith cycling programme for adults, parents and children together so watch this space."