Safety fears are barrier to more children cycling to school

15.17 | 24 April 2009 |

A survey of 9-11 year olds, conducted for Cycling England to coincide with Bike to School Week (20-24 April), shows that many children want their parents to allow them to cycle to school.

Cycling England says that millions of children would prefer to cycle to school, but only 1% currently do so – due largely to parental concern about safety. 33% of children say they would be more awake and better prepared for the day ahead if they cycled to school rather than travelled by car.

The research also reveals that a third of children seek the freedom and independence that cycling to school brings.

The main barrier to more children cycling to school is parental concern about safety. 38% of those interviewed say their parents think cycling is too dangerous and 29% feel they don’t have the skills and confidence to cycle on the roads.

Paul Robison, Cycling England’s Bikeability manager, said: “Concern about safety is entirely natural but we need to remember that on-road accidents are in long term decline. Cycling is a life skill, and one that the vast majority of children want to master. We know that cycling to school, or just as a fun activity in its own right, can play a hugely positive role in a child’s overall development.”

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