I HAVE been cycling to school for a few weeks now. I have noticed a few things and feel that it should become more accepted as a form of transport to school, and perhaps for other journeys in the city.
There are many benefits to cycling, for example the environmental advantages. A bicycle produces no carbon dioxide or particulates, therefore doesn’t pollute the air or contribute to global warming. This is a crucial issue at our time. By cycling that would decrease our carbon footprint.
Also, at the moment a change like this could contribute to resolving the climate crisis. A bike is great low carbon solution for the environmentally conscious, as many can’t afford electric cars. Cycling also has a very low upkeep cost compared to cars.
Secondly, cycling is one of the safest forms of transportation. If two bicycles collide there will not be as much damage done compared to if two cars were to collide. If the appropriate infrastructure was in place then I strongly believe that most children and teenagers would cycle to school.
This includes creating two-way cycle lanes separate to the footpaths for routes going to school.
Two-way cycle lanes would be ideal as they create a feeling of safety for cyclists. The normalisation of using cycling more to get to and from your destination would also increase the number of children cycling to school.
Read more: Cycling through the latest lockdown
We can see this happening more in London and the rest of Europe especially the Netherlands. By creating a cycling positive attitude you can normalise cycling.
Another reason cycling to school should be a more prevalent form of transport is that it contributes to daily exercise.
The NHS suggests that people should should do at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. On a typical trip to school it takes me about 15 minutes to travel there, so you can already knock a sizeable proportion of weekly exercise off the list.
This will reduce levels of childhood obesity, heart disease, and other diseases caused by lack of exercise. It is also a low impact form of exercise so more accessible to a greater range of people. Cycling is open to a wide range of ages and abilities due to the ever evolving improvements.
It is much more convenient and faster for people to cycle in many circumstances; you just get your bike and leave,and it’s free – no fuel costs! When going in a car it is more time-consuming to leave. To go to school or the shops taking a bicycle is typically quicker than a car for somebody of my age as it will only be me travelling.
I strongly believe that more people should cycle to school. I also believe that the council should do more to encourage cycling by investing in cycling infrastructure. Change starts in school, and the situation could be vastly improved.