Parents’ Road Fears Stop Children Cycling

February 11, 2015

A new survey carried out by the road safety charity Brake has found that 47% of children are discouraged or stopped from cycling because of their parents worries over safety. The publication of this survey has come at the same time as London has seen its third cycling facility since the beginning of 2015 on its busy roads, prompting not only protests but more calls for safer roads for cyclists in London and across the UK.

The survey, which took into account the views of 1301 school children between the ages of 11 and 17 saw 47% stating that their parents’ worries about their safety when cycling prevented them from doing it more often or in some cases, doing it at all. 41% highlighted the speed of traffic as a key reason they didn’t cycle more whilst a further 37% stated that more cycle paths and pavements were needed to increase the chance of them choosing to cycle or even walk.

The government’s Cycling Minister, Robert Goodwill has highlighted how he wants to see more children on bicycles across the country and is hopeful the £374 million investment in cycling will see a change in attitudes and behaviour and he also highlighted how the government’s Bikeability Scheme will have reached 1.6 million children by March 2015, giving them more confidence and competence on the roads.

Less children cycle due to road safety concerns

Future Cyclists’ Safety

One of the many calls to the government which is designed to provide safer roads for cyclists comes from the 20’s Plenty For Us campaigners who want to see more 20 mph zones around communities and specifically, where people live and walk and cycle daily. With most schoolchildren passing through mainly residential areas to and from school 20 mph zones could make a real difference to the concerns of parents and also the concerns of those children who are worried about the speed of other vehicles on the road.

It doesn’t make good reading when we see that 3 people have already been killed in London this year, with it being only February, whilst on their bikes and it further impresses the need for a better system to support cyclists on the road and ensure they are safe and able to travel in comfort and with ease.

If we look to The Netherlands there has been a recent report into road safety which recommends compulsory helmet use for children and the elderly may make a significant difference in reducing the number of injuries and deaths on the roads. It’s an interesting suggestion and one which needs to be looked into in more depth, especially in the UK, where we now know many of the reasons why cyclists feel unsafe and therefore unable to use the roads.

At Lamb & Co we specialise in supporting the victims of road traffic accidents after an injury and ensuring they get the compensation they deserve; this includes cyclists and pedestrians. We want to ensure that everyone who deserves compensation gets the maximum they’re entitled to.

The image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by John Myers and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.