Most children do not cycle. We need to encourage young people to ride a bike as a healthy, active, cheap and fun experience and help them cycle as much as they can. Cycle training is a cheap and effective way of promoting activity that children can do outside school, can be integrated into sport in school and can help tackle childhood obesity. It is a skill that they will be able to use all their lives. Despite the Government’s support for Bikeability cycle training (which
was described to us as “cycle proficiency for the 21st century”), it is currently only available for about half of all school pupils in England, with even fewer being trained to level 3 Bikeability in their teens. It should be available to all, as swimming is. Better training at an early age will also train future car drivers to think bike and could have a long term impact on driver safety. People of all ages should be enabled to give cycling a try, and particularly those we know cycle less: people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Department for Transport’s own research shows that smarter choices measures of this kind are highly cost-effective ways to boost cycle use. Transport for London’s Catch up with the Bicycle campaign is an excellent example of how to promote cycling as stylish and aspirational, which anyone can do in their normal clothes. Cycling must become a normal activity, not a minority pursuit.
Recommendations from the Get Britain Cycling Report
- Provide cycle training at all primary and secondary schools
- Offer widespread affordable (or free) cycle training and other programmes to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to give cycling a try, as evidenced by NICE.
- Promote cycling as a safe and normal activity for people of all ages and backgrounds
To sign the petition to ‘Get Britain Cycling’, click http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49196