Scheme seeks to instill life-long cycling habit

12.00 | 9 July 2014 | | 6 comments

Every four year old in Glasgow is being taught to ride a bike as part of a project launched earlier this year to encourage them to cycle for the rest of their lives.

The Play on Pedals scheme is claimed to be a UK-first in getting every Glasgow child in the saddle before they start school. If successful, it will be repeated across Scotland.

Through the scheme 7,500 four-year-olds will receive cycle training at nurseries and other venues over the next two years.

The scheme is being jointly run by CTC, Cycling Scotland, Play Scotland and Glasgow Bike Station (which recycles bikes) and has been funded by a £230,000 contribution from the People’s Postcode Trust’s Dream Fund.



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    I understand that for your journey of 12 miles a car is likely to be faster as the optimum for cycling is 6 miles (covers many daily journeys), but probably increasing. However, your experience is not a valid reason to dismiss giving all children the “Life Skill” of cycling.

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    Another reason for the increase in cycling is the expense of car parking at railway stations. I guess that most cycling in St Albans is to and from the city railway station.

    Bobbio, Chiswell Green
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    People need a vision of how things will be better for them in order to get them engaged. I returned to regular cycling a year ago, because I wanted to be part of change for the better. I cycle to work and back once a week. It doesn’t sound like much but the journey is 16 miles each way through some hostile urban environment. I don’t wear lycra and I ride an old and heavy mountain bike.

    After around 40 iterations of this journey in all weathers I am way faster than the bus, as fast as the train, and closing in on car journey time. I’m close to asking why I bother using any other transport. I am richer by a 3-figure sum, I don’t cringe when I look in a full-length mirror and I can indulge in all the Cornish Pasties (other counties also make pasties) that I like.

    It’s my perception that over the year the number of cyclists on the road has steadily increased, and I do mean “on the road”. Cyclists are reclaiming their space on the roads and I think drivers are beginning to understand this. It’s not perfect but every effort that gets people playing their part in change is worth making.

    Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton
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    The fact is that if you see any benefit from healthy and sustainable transport and wish to encourage it then you also need to discourage the unhealthy and unsustainable transport.

    I remember seeing a presentation on the cycle lanes of Stevenage which were held up by the Dutch as best practice in the 70s. Whilst the Dutch both built cycle paths where they could and restricted the speed and access of cars in their urban centres, in Stevenage they paid even more attention to making it easier to get around by car. Anyone now comparing cycling levels in Stevenage and a similar sized Dutch town can see the consequences.

    And perhaps the best example of the revitalisation of the urban realm for cycling is in London as a result of congestion charging.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    Naughty, naughty Bobbio, but very true.
    I applaude this scheme, but wonder if we should be looking at ways of encouraging 12 to 17 year olds to keep riding, rather than looking at cycling as a “poor man’s” transport.

    Martin, Suffolk
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    I cycled to and from school, 12 miles a day, 6 on an A class road, for 7 years. I have hardly ridden a bike since. I find a car does the journey in less time.

    Bobbio Chiswell Green
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