Sustrans is calling on the government and local authorities to “show real ambition” in guaranteeing protected and segregated cycle lanes on main road routes to schools.
Their call comes during October’s Cycle to School Week – held annually to encourage families to ditch the car on the school run.
In a bid to remove any barriers to active travel, the organisation wants to ensure all cyclists feel safe on the roads so that the younger generation – as well as those looking for cost-efficient means of travel – adopt and keep healthier travelling habits.
Calling this an ‘urgent priority’ for the government, Sustrans said: “Engaging this generation of younger school pupils with cycling and teaching them the importance of travelling actively, will only have a lasting impact if we all strive to make sure children and families feel safe and welcome on the road.
“Enabling and encouraging families across the UK that are suffering financially to choose to travel actively would demonstrate commitment to a new transport hierarchy in which the car is not king, for the sake of our wallets, our health and our planet.”
The call comes on the back of a survey carried out by Sustrans last year, confirming people’s perception of safety whilst cycling. The survey revealed 42% deemed their local area to be a good place to cycle generally, but that figure dropped to 29% when residents were asked if their neighbourhood offered a good level of safety for children cycling. Added to that, 65% wanted cycling routes to be physically protected from motor traffic.
Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans, summed up: “With new leadership from Prime Minister Truss, there is a fresh opportunity to renew our transport priorities for what the UK people need. It is vital active travel is embedded into our transport system and that roads are safer for all.”