Following a survey that showed that 82 percent of the UK population want cycle safety to be a mandatory lesson in schools, Halfords has reported that more than 30,000 parents and children have now attended its free kids’ bike workshop.
The workshop teaches basic bike safety, repair and maintenance to 7- to 11-year-olds. Parents can check availability and make a booking at www.halfords.com/bikeclub.
The survey, which was conducted by YouGov and Halfords and quizzed more than 4,600 people, also found that just 17 percent of parents said their children aged between five and 16 cycled to school, and that 42 percent cited road danger as the reason why. A not-inconsiderable 67 percent of parents said the government should do more to promote cycling safety for children, and a further 27 percent would support bike clubs at schools and the provision of free helmets for children. In support of this, Halfords has been visiting primary schools across the country this month, delivering a free workshop to more than 12,000 pupils too.
Emma Fox, Commercial Director at Halfords, said: “Our state of the nation report on cycling shows how vital the nation thinks cycling education is from a young age. We know how important is it to start these skill sets young and educate the next generation on cycling safely. [The kids’ bike workshops] help fuel a lifelong interest in cycles, as well as sound cycling safety knowledge.”
It’s not just parents who think more could be done to promote cycle safety however. More than half of those surveyed said the government and local councils should do more. Forty percent backed the provision of more dedicated cycle lanes, and 30 percent thought more places to park and lock bikes would encourage more cycling.
When asked what the effect of an increase in the number of journeys that were taken by bike would be, 32 percent of people said they thought there would be fewer cars on the road and less congestion, and 38 percent thought commuters would save money on petrol and other transport costs. However, 28 percent said they thought it would lead to higher levels on conflict between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
The survey garnered positive responses from UK Olympic cycling champions Chris Boardman and Victoria Pendleton.
Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman said: “If you are eight or 80, the bicycle is simply a fantastic tool for getting around. More than 60 percent of people surveyed by British Cycling who don't already cycle regularly said they would if they felt safer.
“So the government must invest in cycling infrastructure, to take back the streets, prioritising for people who choose not to travel by car, if we are to reap the fantastic benefits that this humble machine can unlock. Health, congestion, pollution, more liveable cities… whatever topic you want to choose, the bicycle can be a large part of the answer.”
Victoria Pendleton added: “Whether it’s to aid your health and fitness, to save money on your commute, for environmental reasons, or to reduce stress, cycling has many benefits. However, it’s not just a case of pursuing a hobby and interest without taking full responsibility for cycling safely. Halfords’ new report uncovers just how important cycle safety is to our nation and it’s great to hear that such a key topic is front of everyone’s mind.”