• Britain: More training but less cycling

    by  • May 14, 2012 • Education, No Digest • 0 Comments

    by David Hembrow
    A View from the Cycle Path

    David Hembrow is the leading English-language blogger on cycling in the Netherlands.


    Britain: More training but less cycling
    April 11, 2012

    ….I have no doubt at all that those who train child cyclists in the UK do so with the best possible motives. However, effort shouldn’t be confused with success. Sadly, the effort of the people doing the training is being squandered on something which looks good in press releases (“More money for school cycle training” !) but doesn’t actually make any real difference. While British children are being trained in large numbers, this does not lead to them cycling. Conditions on the streets of the UK simply remain too unpleasant and too dangerous for more than a very small proportion of parents to allow their children to cycle.

    Read entire article HERE>>>

    “Cycling Proficiency” has failed British cyclists
    November 7, 2011

    …It is often not appreciated just how popular cycling once was in the UK. In 1949, more distance was covered each year by bike [472 km/per person/per year] than by car [406 km/per person/per year]. This is a remarkable level of cycle usage, and something that no nation, including the Netherlands, can claim today….

    [60 years later, car usage in Britain had increased by a factor of 14X to 6,500 km/per person/per year, while bicycle usage simultaneously fell by a factor of 7X to ~ 80km/per person/per year]

    …Cycle training, in all its forms, has not only failed to do anything at all to increase cycling rates in the UK, but it has also failed to do enough to stem a very rapid decline….

    …I am, of course, not saying that cycle-training caused a decline in cycling. That’s not the case at all. Rather, as cars became more affordable they displaced cycling from Britain’s roads. Due to a lack of good alternatives, driving became the least bad option for most people….

    …In my view, cycle training, especially of children, is valuable. However, it is only a small part of what is required. It can’t result in a higher cycling rate unless conditions are changed such that cycling becomes a desirable activity. Governments which want to increase cycling cannot rely merely on training. They have to invest in cycling infrastructure. The evidence shows that on its own, attempting to train cyclists to cope with ever degrading road conditions simply does not increase cycling rates…

    Read entire article HERE>>>


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever.

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