Friday, 9 May 2008

I really try not to be grumpy, but....

...sometimes it is difficult.

Here is a depressing survey of what parents allow their children to do on their bikes. The survey was run by Populus, and commissioned by Cycling England.

Populus asked parents about how much freedom they give children of different ages. The headline numbers are depressing enough (55% of parents surveyed do not allow their children to ride their bike on the roads; 24% only allow their children to ride in their own street; 10% do not allow their children to ride out of sight; 3% give their children a bike, and then do not allow them to ride for recreation, to their friends house, or to school; 18% say they would never feel happy letting their child cycle on the road, at any age).

But the really surprising figures are those relating to 15 year olds.

  • 19% of parents of 15 year olds do not allow them to ride on the roads.
  • 24% only allow their fifteen year-old to ride in the immediate vicinity, and 6% only within their own street.
  • 7% do not allow a fifteen year-old to ride without adult supervision.
  • 4% do not allow a fifteen year old to cycle to school, or to a friends house, or for recreation.
Apparently 8% of parents say that they won't let their fifteen year-old child ride on the roads, because of a lack of confidence and skills (I wonder what could be causing that).

There is a range of comments attached to the report in the Times, but the consensus seems to be that children should be prevented from cycling until there is sufficient cotton-wool in place.

There is a Cycling England commentary on all this here.

Call me old-fashioned, but I am amazed that fifteen year-olds are letting their parents get away with this nonsense. However, 25% of parents do admit that they don't know where their fifteen-year olds go on their bikes. That sounds more like it.

No comments: