Growing support for cycling on national curriculum

Four in five parents want statutory cycling lessons in schools, survey finds

Tes Reporter

Children cycling to school

A growing number of parents want cycling to be added to the school national curriculum amid an increase in demand for children's bikes, according to a report.

Halfords said sales of bike trailers had doubled in the past year, with a similar increase in searches for children's bikes.

A survey of 2,000 parents showed that four out of five wanted cycling added to the national curriculum.

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The research, published at the start of Bike To School Week, showed strong support for spending more money on cycling and scooting safety for children.

The main reason for a child not cycling to school is because of safety concerns, said Halfords.

Emma Dines, of Halfords, said: "On the back of a year when many adults have rediscovered cycling, it's heartening to see a growing number of children taking it up too.

"Our research shows that parents want further cycling education to be provided to young people to ensure it can help them to cycle safely.

"We know how important it is to start these skill sets young and educate the next generation."

Meanwhile, the Department for Transport announced that cycle repair workshops will be set up in English primary schools as part of a £2 million project to get more children cycling or walking to school.

Doctor Bike clinics will be rolled out next month in areas where children are more likely to need support to get their bikes in good enough condition for regular use.

Cycling and walking minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "Cycling and walking is good for people and the planet's health, so we want half of all journeys being cycled or walked by 2030.

"To do that, we must encourage young people to see cycling and walking as normal as getting the bus or train.

"This funding will support schools and local communities to get more children walking to school and set up bike surgeries that will help children get their bikes ready to roll – so they can start their day healthy and happy."

Walking and cycling charity Sustrans commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 parents of children aged under 16 which indicated that 59 per cent do not enjoy their daily journey to school.

Congested roads was given as a key reason by 62 per cent of those people.

Sustrans chief executive Xavier Brice said: "These figures highlighting why parents currently dislike the school run clearly show that more needs to be done by local authorities to help make walking and cycling the easiest and most appealing options for families travelling to school.

"There is a real risk people will be locked into car dependency."

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