Published: 3rd OCTOBER 2022

Protected cycle lanes need to be an urgent Government priority

It's Cycle to School Week - a week-long event where families are encouraged to try cycling and scooting to school. But for this to be a success, we need to remove long-term barriers so that people feel safe when cycling on roads. That's why we're calling on local authorities and the Central Government to guarantee protected cycle lanes on main road routes to schools.

Mum and child cycling along a dedicated cycle lane past a bus stop.

Photo: John Linton.

This Cycle to School Week (formerly known as Bike to School Week), we're calling on local authorities and the central Government to guarantee protected cycle lanes on main road routes to schools.

Doing this will help embed new active travel habits of people across the UK that are having to change the way they travel during the cost of living crisis.

This is an urgent priority for the new Truss government.

The call comes during Cycle to School Week (3-7 October), an annual event led this year by The Bikeability Trust in partnership with Sustrans, in which pupils and families cycle to school instead of travelling by car. 


Engaging the next generation to ensure lasting impact

For Cycle to School Week to succeed, long-term barriers to feeling welcome and safe on the road must be removed.

Sustrans CEO Xavier Brice says:

"Engaging this generation of younger school pupils with cycling and teaching them the importance of travelling actively, will only have a lasting impact if we all strive to make sure children and families feel safe and welcome on the road.

"That’s why this Cycle to School Week, Sustrans calls on local authority leaders and the Government to show real ambition and commit to installing protected cycle lanes along main road routes to schools.

"Enabling and encouraging families across the UK that are suffering financially to choose to travel actively would demonstrate commitment to a new transport hierarchy in which the car is not king, for the sake of our wallets, our health and our planet."


Renewing transport priorities for what people need

We recognise that people are trying to choose to travel actively and reduce their car overuse.

That is why we're calling for an embedding of infrastructure to support this lasting change.

We believe that walking, wheeling and cycling should be prioritised as active forms of transport to address the UK’s most serious priorities:

  • health problems caused by inactivity
  • air pollution from motor transport
  • and freeing people from the expensive and restrictive lifestyles of car overuse.

Xavier Brice added:

"With new leadership from Prime Minister Truss, there is a fresh opportunity to renew our transport priorities for what the UK people need.

"It is vital active travel is embedded into our transport system and that roads are safer for all.”


Read the latest blog by our behaviour change expert Chris Bennett on why all children need access to safe routes to walk and cycle to school.


Only 29% of people think the level of safety for children cycling is good. Read more from our Walking and Cycling Index.

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