Cycling to School a Thing of the Past?
Alan Davies reports on the concerning lack of students utilising active transport to get to school – focusing on cycling in particular.
“In Melbourne, just 2.7% of primary school children and 2.7% of secondary school children ride to school. It’s as high as 5.8% among inner city secondary students and as low as 2% of outer suburban primary school children, but there’s no getting away from the fact that bicycles aren’t a popular choice.”
Research mentions concerns about safety as a considerable deterrent to active transport including cycling. The catch is, the more people avoid cycling and active transport, the more dangerous it is for others to ride or walk to school (more cars on the road, less surveillance of the street). Weather and proximity to schools are other commonly cited deterrents.
Starting to ride/walk/PT to school is the hardest part – but to encourage active transport, it’s important to ensure housing is located within walking/cycling distance, and has good access to public transport. Better cycling facilities (such as bike paths) would also help, and school led initiatives to promote active transport (such as that undertaken by Boroondara).
A cool peer-review journal on the issue is available here.