HEREFORD'S MP wants to turn Hereford into a 'walking and cycling centre' as he handed out awards at a nationwide conference in the city.

MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire Jesse Norman said young people across the country should be taking part in Bikeability courses because of the benefits of cycling.

The scheme, which used to be known as cycling proficiency, is often delivered in schools by instructors so children are safer while cycling.

The Minister of State for the Department for Transport was delighted to see the 2019 Bikeability awards held in his constituency on Thursday.

He said: "Having this event here is part of the plan to put the city and county on the map.

"We want to turn the city into a walking and cycling city, then it'll be good for everyone.

"The things about Bikeability is it gets them riding. From personal experience, coaching is essential if you want to be safe on the roads."

Mr Norman addressed over 300 people from across the country at the event at the Left Bank in Hereford.

He told them about how from a young age he's loved cycling.

"My first job was delivering meat for Mr Harris the butcher, I must have only been 10 or 11.

"I delivered it on a bike and I was able to do that because of good coaching."

Retailer Halfords have partnered with the organisation as they try to help 25,000 more primary school age children in England to access safe cycling programmes.

But when Jesse Norman was asked whether the scheme should be put into the national curriculum, he said it would be a challenge to do that.

He added: "I want to see Bikeability extended, the aim is to have every child doing it regardless of their background.

"I really like the idea of that (Bikeability being on the national curriculum) but from a practical matter it's extremely difficult to achieve, there's so many other matters."

Mr Norman spoke about the arguments for having personal finance taught to children so they understand bank accounts, as well as there being 'thousands of other matters'.