Unsupervised cycling teaches children ‘skills for life’: RoSPA

13.51 | 14 July 2010 | | 1 comment

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, says children should be encouraged to cycle with more freedom in order to gain life experience skills.

Mr Mullarkey, said: “One of RoSPA’s central principles is that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.

“Children develop valuable skills for life when they are given opportunities to get out and about to experience risks and learn how to cope with them.

“RoSPA encourages children to cycle, and advises parents to ensure their children have had some formal cycle training before they are allowed to ride on and near roads unsupervised.

“In addition to formal training, parents are well placed to know about their children’s skills and maturity, as well as the nature of the area in which they live.

“They can use this information to make decisions about whether to allow their children to use the roads unsupervised, either as a cyclist or pedestrian.”

Mr Mullarkey also raised the wider issue of safety for all cyclists, saying: “We want more people to cycle and we therefore need to stay focused on improving the safety of cyclists.

“Good training and awareness for both motorists and cyclists is crucial, and we encourage greater creativity, particularly when it comes to children.”

Click here to read the full RoSPA press release.


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    This is a transport planning issue. Until urban speed limits are reduced to make streets safer – and cycle routes allow access to areas otherwise only accessible by busy roads, parents aren’t going to let their children cycle independently as much as they would like. This is up to local councils. Hereford is a good (bad) example – ideal for cycling in terms of it being a small and compact city, but a nightmare due to a complete lack of cycling strategy.

    Rob Hattersley, Hereford
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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