Round the world adventurer Mark Beaumont yesterday launched a campaign to ask drivers across Scotland to give children the space they need to cycle to school.
The ‘Give Me Cycle Space’ campaign aims to break down the biggest barrier that stops children from riding to school – parents’ fear of accidents on busy roads. The campaign hopes to make motorists aware and considerate of child cyclists.
Beaumont joined a group of children from St Mark’s Primary School in East Renfrewshire on the picket line hoping to catch drivers’ attention with placards highlighting how drivers can help Scottish children in their quest for safer routes to cycle to school.
The campaign will be centred around local schools to promote ‘Cycle Friendly Zones’ – areas where drivers are asked to give children as much space as possible so they can make an easy and safe journey by bike. The six week campaign will include outdoor advertising, leafleting to parents and advertising on local radio.
Coordinated by Cycling Scotland, the campaign will take place in seven areas of Scotland; Glasgow, Inverclyde, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Moray, Perth & Kinross and East Renfrewshire and hopes to encourage more children to get on their bikes for a healthier, fitter lifestyle. Schools in each of the areas will receive a visit from The Riderz, Scotland’s stunt cycling team, in a bid to show children cycling to school can be fun and exciting.
“I believe the Cycle to School campaign is invaluable for children,” said Beaumont. “Research shows that children want to cycle to school, so the aim of this campaign is to make sure drivers look out for them. This will give more children in Scotland the confidence to get on their bikes and cycle to school.”
Cycling Scotland Chief Executive Ian Aitken added: “The Give Me Cycle Space campaign achieved incredible results last year, contributing to huge increases in the number of children cycling in the schools we targeted. In some areas we saw levels of cycling to school double, for example in Orkney the percentage of kids riding their bikes to school rocketed from 9% to 18%.
“I think the mixture of strong communication to drivers, supported by children getting their cycle training really gives parents the confidence to let their kids start using their bikes to get to school.”