As kids many of us enjoyed the freedom of cycling to school. Unfortunately, in recent decades there has been a total collapse in the number of children who cycle. Roads have become more dangerous and parents now drive their children to school more than ever. Of course, the more that children are driven to school, the more cars are on the road and the more dangerous it is for those who would like to cycle. It’s a self-perpetuating vicious cycle (no pun intended!).
The 25 years, from 1986 to 2011, saw an 87 per cent decrease in the numbers cycling to secondary school. That’s an incredible indictment of our society. Vast sums of money have been committed to road building in those decades, but much of this has encouraged driving while at the same time discouraging cycling and walking by making it unsafe and inconvenient. This means greater expense for parents, more stressful lives and poor health for their children, and many more adverse outcomes. The new cycle lanes on Shannon Bridge and Condell Road are a small but critical step in reversing this trend. In the coming years we must build an entire, coherent network of safe walking cycling infrastructure and we must make hard and sometimes unpopular choices in order to provide it.
If you agree with this, please share this post widely and consider writing to your councillors to ensure that these cycle lanes are retained.