Residents who are new to cycling or want to brush up on their cycling skills can benefit from a training scheme offered by Portsmouth City Council.

The free, two hour cycling training sessions will help families and individuals develop their cycling abilities and boost their confidence cycling on the city's roads. There is also an opportunity to learn basic mechanical skills which will equip people to carry out minor repairs and maintenance to keep their bikes on the road for longer.

The training, provided by Pedal Power, can be tailored to meet individual needs and can take place at a time and location to suit peoples' busy schedules. Instructors will cover topics from planning quieter routes to school, work or the shops, guiding children safely on the road, to tackling junctions.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transport, said: "Many people own a bike but not everyone has the confidence to cycle on busier roads. This free training is a great opportunity for people to improve their skills and become more cycle-savvy so they can leave the car at home and enjoy cycling more as a family. It will also help children to develop good cycling habits at a young age that will carry them through to adulthood."

Earlier this year, the council was successfully awarded £450,000 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) Air Quality Grant. The free cycle training is one of a number of schemes the council has introduced to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality.

Applicants will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and the offer will run until all the funding has been used. To find out more and apply, email my.journey@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.