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We need more cycle training, not cycling infrastructure

“If people were trained to cycle on the road, there would be no need for cycling infrastructure”

The response

When people who don't cycle are asked why they don't, the reason most frequently given is worries about safety, fear of motor traffic in particular. Training is not, and cannot be, a substitute for a safe and attractive cycling environment.

While cycle training may help to instill confidence in the few who choose to do it, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that it will persuade those who are unwilling or uninterested to begin cycling, or to continue to do so once they have received training.

Cycle training does form part of the school curriculum in the Netherlands. However, it is not a tool to ‘encourage’ Dutch children to cycle. Instead, it involves teaching road rules to children who have already been cycling from a very young age. It is the quality of the cycling environment that is of fundamental importance in establishing (and maintaining) high cycling levels, not cycle training.

The children in this photo are too young to have taken their school cycling lessons, yet are already cycling to and from school.

The children in this photo are too young to have taken their school cycling lessons, yet are already cycling to and from school.

Source: The Alternative Department for Transport (Copyright, used with permission)