Investing in our future cyclists.
Cycling can be a healthy and fun activity for all ages, although ensuring the safety of our children is as important as the any of the health benefits that are advertised.
Minister for Cycling, Robert Goodwill confirmed plans for a national spend of over £375 million over the next five years and national charity Get Britain Cycling wants to see 10% of all trips to be made by bicycle by 2025. It is important however that as participation in cycling increases that the safety of our children remains paramount.
Despite the £375 million budget recently set by this government, it is highly unlikely that Britain’s roads will be greatly improved or will be more welcoming to cyclists. Whilst we may not have the sophisticated transport infrastructure of countries such as the Netherlands, it is possible to educate our children to minimise the risks to them.
Now is the time to ensure that our generation of children are aware of cycling safety and have a working knowledge of the basic rules of the road. For example, does your child know that it is illegal for a cyclist to use a pavement that is by a road but may be perfectly legal to use a pavement in a park?
With Britain’s children inspired by the triumphs of Olympians such as Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins the efforts of organisations such as Bikeability should be publicised. Wearing a hat and being fully aware of the vehicular traffic can improve road safety immensely and make Get Britain Cycling’s hopes of increased participation a realistic goal. A bicycle is an investment into a child’s lifestyle – a life long hobby which can also bring health and other social benefits. Let’s make the safety of our child cyclists the main priority in the ongoing cycling revolution.