schoolNot only does cycling enhance children’s mobility and independence, it is great exercise and the perfect weapon in the ongoing fight against obesity according to the European Cyclists' Federation.

Despite this, cycling rates have fallen in recent decades - only 2% of children regularly get on their bike in Britain, compared to 60% in China and 50% in the Netherlands.

The fact that more people own cars, parental fears about personal safety and increased traffic have all contributed to the downward trend. Improving cycle safety, especially on the school run, is one approach, teamed with successful policies, implemented by countries such as the Netherlands.

Co-editor of City Cycling, Ralph Buehler says: “The Dutch are clearly doing something right, and it merits taking a close look at Dutch policies to see what lessons can be drawn for raising cycling rates among children in other countries.”

This includes on-road safe cycling lessons, the proper infrastructure for this mode of transport and the onus being on motorists involving crashes with cyclists. For more on the benefits of cycling, visit the European Cyclists’ Federation at www.ecf.com/news/childrencycling