Social Research Transport Research Summary 2011 - Cycle Training in Primary Schools Research


Prior to this research being undertaken, there was limited evidence around barriers to on-road cycle training for primary school pupils in Scotland. This research has provided rich information about the experience of considering, planning, delivering and sustaining on-road cycle training at eleven schools in Scotland.

This research has highlighted that there are barriers to on-road training in Scotland. The biggest barrier relates to attracting volunteers to deliver the training. On-road training is seen as requiring more volunteer resources than off-road training, to ensure a suitable ratio of adults to children. Volunteering as an on-road trainer is also seen as a significant responsibility.

The research also demonstrates that many schools have successfully overcome barriers to run effective and sustainable on-road cycle training programmes. On-road cycle training has been most sustainable where teachers and support staff are supportive of cycle training; where parents are supportive and keen to volunteer; and where support is available from the Road Safety Officer or Active Schools Co-ordinator.

As this research has focused on a small sample of eleven schools, it does not provide wider evidence about the extent and nature of on-road cycle training programmes across Scotland. However, it does demonstrate that a number of the case study schools have moved to on-road cycle training programmes in recent years, and that local road safety professionals have been key to supporting and sustaining this shift.

Overall, this research highlights that there is broad common agreement among parents, teachers, volunteers and road safety professionals that
on-road cycle training is considerably more effective and more enjoyable for children than off-road cycle training.