Cycle-friendly schools and colleges (Cycling UK views)
- About 50% of primary school children say they want to cycle to school, but in England only around 1% of children aged 5-10 and 2% of children aged 11-15 cycled to school in 2013.
- In the Netherlands, around 49% of primary school children cycle to and from school, 37% walk and only 14% are brought and collected by car. In secondary school, the cycling share is even higher.
- At well over 40%, cars are the most common form of transport used for the school/college run; travel for education is responsible for about 29% of trips between 8 and 9 am.
- The average distance travelled to get to school/college is approximately 3 miles.
- In the UK, about 30% of children aged 2-15 are either overweight or obese and, without action, 25% of them could be obese by 2050. In England, only round 21% of boys and 16% of girls aged 5-15 meet the current physical activity levels for their age group.
- 10-16 year-old boys who cycle regularly to school are 30% more likely and girls 7 times more likely to meet recommended fitness levels.
- Children who walk or cycle to school concentrate better than those who are driven there.
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy):
- Involving the whole school community (pupils, teachers, governors and parents), schools and colleges should:
- Actively recognise the health, social, environmental and educational benefits of encouraging students and staff to cycle.
- Develop, act on and monitor School Travel Plans that have cycling at their core; and publish pro-cycling policies.
- Arrange for Bikeability training and other activities to promote safe, fun and responsible cycling.
- Provide high quality facilities for pupils who cycle (e.g. parking, lockers for equipment etc).
- Remove all barriers to cycling (e.g. bans on parking cycles on the premises).
- Not impose restrictions on those who do cycle (e.g. a requirement to wear cycle helmets).
- Work with the local highways authority to improve road safety in the area.
- Local authorities should:
- Work positively with schools/colleges about cycling and offer resources to help them develop their Travel Plans.
- Jointly identify hostile conditions on local roads and treat them to help make cycling to and from school/college as hazard-free, attractive and convenient as possible (e.g. by introducing 20 mph speed limits, providing safe cycling links etc).
- School inspections and self-evaluations should assess the measures that school/colleges take to encourage active travel and reduce the impact they have on traffic volumes and road danger.
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Publication Date:November 2015