Former round-the-world record holder Mark Beaumont has launched the Give Me Cycle Space campaign to help more children in Scotland to ride to school.
Beaumont joined a group of children from St Mark’s Primary School in East Renfrewshire on the picket line hoping to catch drivers’ attention with placards highlighting how they can help Scottish children in their quest for safer routes to cycle to school.
“I believe the Cycle to School campaign is invaluable for children,” said Beaumont, who held the 194 day, 17 hour world record for cycling around the globe after his 18,297-mile trip in 2008.
“Research shows that children want to cycle to school, so the aim of this campaign is to make sure drivers look out for them. This will give more children in Scotland the confidence to get on their bikes and cycle to school.”
The Give Me Cycle Space campaign aims to break down the biggest barrier to kids riding their bikes to school – parents’ fear of busy roads – by making motorists more aware and considerate of child cyclists.
The campaign, co-ordinated by Cycling Scotland, will be centred around local schools to promote Cycle Friendly Zones – areas where drivers are asked to give children as much space as possible so they can make an easy and safe journey by bike.
The six-week campaign will include outdoor advertising, leafleting to parents and advertising on local radio, while schools are encouraged to provide Bikeability Scotland training to help children learn skills on the road, in a real-life cycling environment.
Cycling Scotland chief executive Ian Aitken said: “The Give Me Cycle Space campaign achieved incredible results last year, contributing to huge increases in the number of children cycling in the schools we targeted.
“In some areas we saw levels of cycling to school double, for example in Orkney the percentage of kids riding their bikes to school rocketed from 9 per cent to 18 per cent.
“I think the mixture of strong communication to drivers, supported by children getting their cycle training really gives parents the confidence to let their kids start using their bikes to get to school.”