With only 2% of UK children cycling to school every day, compared to 49% in Holland, there is a clear message that UK parents are not encouraging children to take up cycling.
This is a great shame, as owning a bicycle is the first real independence experienced by young people, added to the ecological benefits of carbon-zero emissions, healthy exercise and the ability of teenagers to get to their activities without relying on Mum or Dad.
In rural areas, villages and small towns, cycling is vital to many people who prefer not to wait around for buses and trains, with the added benefit of being cost free. Government statistics tell us that cycling has been growing in popularity in the UK over the last few years, with many famous medal winning cyclists leading the trend: Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead.
Cycling can be a fun hobby or competitive pursuit, a great way to stay fit or a way to speed up your daily commute, but these figures underline just how important road safety is every time you get into the saddle.
If only 2% of UK children are cycling, this means they are not being taught cycling safety by their parents. Schools budget pressures are high and the Cycling Proficiency Test is delivered to fewer and fewer children every year.
With HGVs under more and more pressure to reduce blind spots and to add talking, flashing and beeping alarms such as the Amber Valley range of ALARMALIGHT Blind Spot Protection, teaching sensible cycle safety to our young people could prevent them from riding along the inside of lorries and inform them about taking notice of the alarms and warnings on HGVs.
Government statistics show approximately 15% of UK adults are getting on their bikes and in Counties where roads are flat and with a high student population, this figure is even higher. Cambridge measures 57% of adults on the saddle each month, Oxford 39% and York 32%.
The way forward is certainly to make cycling safer on our Roads, with every HGV using Blind Spot Safety signage and alarms, but also to teach young people how to use them while they are on the roads, to keep safe and healthy.