The British public overwhelmingly wants children to be taught to cycle safely at school, and campaigners have urged the government to ‘take back the streets’ for cyclists and walkers.
More than 80 percent of a 4,600-strong survey group said they would support a legal requirement that meant children were taught to cycle confidently, competently and proficiently in school.
The YouGov survey, for Halfords, also found that just 17 percent of parents said their children aged between 5 and 16 cycled to school and that 42 percent said the reason why they didn't was road danger.
Emma Fox, Commercial Director at Halfords, said the survey, which forms part of Halfords’ 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," she said.
The survey backs up calls from cycling charities to make Bikeability – a successor to cycling proficiency – a legal requirement in schools. Last year, the government pledged £11m for Bikeability.
The survey prompted cycling stars to urge the government to do more to tackle danger and the perception of danger on Britain’s roads.
Olympic gold medalist 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."
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.’
So far this financial year, more than 20,000 parents and children have attended a Halfords kids’ bike workshop, where children aged 7 to 11 have learned the nuts and bolts of basic bike safety, repair and maintenance.