Isn’t this what it was like 20 years ago?

As reported by Treadly and Me, a primary school in Melbourne, Australia has introduced a green travel scheme that has been hugely successful. (You can read more about it on The Age website.)

While I’m not aware of any similar schemes happening here in London, I can report that there seem to be more and more children riding bikes to school in my local area. Mind you, they are being escorted by adults and most are, frustratingly and illegally, riding on the footpath!

Whenever I catch the tube and walk to the station (sadly, something I’ve done every day this week because I’ve been too lazy to cycle) I almost get killed (a bit of poetic licence, but you get the idea) by two child cyclists careering downhill around a blind corner on the footpath. Their mother is with them on foot but seems remarkably oblivious to the danger her sons are causing. She strides on by while her little darlings scatter pedestrians left, right and centre.

I’m usually too shocked to say anything to her, but I wonder if someone confronted her recently, because this morning she was riding a bike on THE ROAD, with her two children following closely behind. I wanted to hug her! It only takes one person to make that brave move and then, with a bit of luck, other mums and their kids will follow suit. This can only be a good thing.

Strange how we can get so excited by the sight of something as simple as children riding their bikes to school, after all, wasn’t this the norm 20 years ago? What happened to us that we think the only way we can make basic journeys is to jump into a motorised vehicle that chews up resources and spews out pollution? And then we wonder why the planet is f**ked and our children obese!


4 thoughts on “Isn’t this what it was like 20 years ago?

  1. Not wishing to be pedantic, but one should always check the wording of the legislation very carefully in these situations. Most places that explicity prohibit cycling on the footpath have a clause exempting children under 12 from this prohibition, and allowing them to be accompanied by an adult on the footpath.
    While I generally agree that cycling should be done on the road, I’m not necessarily in favour of forcing kids under 12 into traffic. I think all that would achieve is convincing parents not to let their children ride at all, and as a cyclist I’m not all that keen on adding more random particles to the traffic mix.


  2. I remember walking several blocks to and from grade school. It is unfortunate that kids today can’t do the same thing safely. My stepdaughters can’t walk the third of a mile. Ugh!


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