Olympic cyclist Andy Tennant is backing a campaign by Brake and Bolt Burdon Kemp for safer streets to enable more kids to get out and about on bikes and protect those already cycling. The campaign calls for action to project cyclists in communities across the UK, helping us foster more world-class cyclists, and improve families' health and happiness.

A survey by road safety charity Brake and specialist personal injury solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp of more than 1,000 parents reveals widespread fears about letting children cycle, and support for more safe cycling measures:

  • Parents' fears are stopping many kids having the freedom to cycle: more than half (52%) say they won't allow their child to cycle unsupervised once they reach age 12 because of traffic danger.
  • Three quarters (76%) of families would cycle together or do so more if local roads were made safer through 20mph limits and cycle paths connecting homes, schools and community facilities.
  • Only a small minority already have widespread 20mph limits (9%) and cycle paths (7%) joining homes and facilities in their area. Of those who do not already have them, nine in ten (90%) would support widespread 20mph limits in their community, and 92% would support cycle paths connecting homes with local facilities. 


Through their Cycle for Life campaign, Brake and Bolt Burdon Kemp are calling on the government and local authorities to promote safe cycling by investing in measures to protect cyclists such as traffic-free and segregated cycle paths and widespread 20mph limits.

They are calling on drivers to pledge to slow down to 20mph in communities, take care to look out for cyclists and give them a wide berth to help prevent devastating casualties and enable more people, including children, to cycle safely.

Andy Tennant, British track and road cyclist competing in the Olympics, is supporting Brake and Bolt Burdon Kemp's Cycle for Life campaign. He said: "As a kid I cycled everywhere I could and it helped me to become the athlete I am today. That's why I'm backing Brake's campaign to make our roads safer for cycling, to help more families get outdoors and get active. We need more safe routes for cycling, but drivers can also play a key part in making our streets safer, and help nurture the future of British cycling, by always looking out for cyclists and driving below 20mph around homes and schools."

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "You don't need to cycle to Olympic standards for it to change your life. Cycling makes you feel amazing: you get fitter and spend more time outdoors, and it's an environmentally-friendly way to get around. The best way to encourage cycling, to and protect existing cyclists, is to make it safer through widespread 20mph limits where people live and segregated cycle paths connecting homes and community facilities.

"We need the government to provide more funding for safety features like these, and we need more local authorities to make safe cycling and walking a priority. We're also appealing to drivers to help make roads safer for young cyclists by pledging to slow down to 20mph in residential and urban areas."

Cheryl Abrahams, Partner at Bolt Burdon Kemp, solicitors who specialise in representing injured cyclists, said: "Cycling is part of childhood and offers fantastic benefits for families to get outdoors and lead healthy, active lifestyles. However, having seen first-hand the devastation that road crashes can cause to children and their families, it is understandable that parents fear letting their children cycle. That's why Bolt Burdon Kemp is working with Brake on the Cycle for Life campaign.

"We fully support Brake's calls for more government investment in safe cycling, and for this to be a priority for local authorities, so all families can get out and about for their health and enjoyment."


Read more about the Cycle for life campaign.

Individuals and organisations can back the campaign at www.brake.org.uk/cycleforlife.


Posted July 17th, 2012 at 0840 by Andrew. Comment by emailing andrew.lynch@pavpub.com