Government Encourages Cycling to Work
Posted by chdot on October 28, 2009
The idea is to encourage employers to pledge to provide the measures that many people expect before they are willing to cycle to work such as showers and secure cycle storage. In addition the Cycle to Work Guarantee web site encourages employers to offer bike maintenance and also suggests “inspiring” more people to cycle.
Many large employers (including government departments and NHS trusts) have already signed up. In addition it has been confirmed that the popular/successful “cycle to work” scheme will continue.
Of course due to devolution the above is for England. Scotland does things differently. With things like the smoking ban and alcohol restrictions, Scotland has policies that the Westminster government has adopted/adapted later.
On cycling south of the border is leading the way. Cycling Demonstration Towns were pioneered before Scotland’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places scheme (which isn’t just about cycling). Cycling England is better resourced than Cycling Scotland (though their remits are different).
Getting more people to cycle to work is clearly a good thing, but getting children cycling is probably more important. In England there are a variety of initiatives. In Edinburgh the ‘basic idea’ of getting children to do the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme seems remarkably difficult. A small number of schools (notable Sciennes and South Morningside) make sure all P6/7 children take part in school time. Some others offer it as an after school activity.
It is ten years since the Road Danger Reduction Forum wrote “The Forum believes that high quality cyclist training for children is essential to achieve the aims of the Integrated Transport Strategy.
Good training provides children with the skills required to be responsible, safe road users not only as children but possibly as future drivers. It is also essential in order to promote and encourage more cycling, particularly through giving parents the confidence to allow their children to cycle.”
Ten years later the idea of Cycle Training leading to better drivers is still valid, but the need for training to be better (adult) cyclists is also strong. Unfortunately not enough children are being trained at primary school age.