1.6 million primary school children in the UK have not ridden a bike this year, a new survey from Raleigh has found.
In the survey of more than 2,000 parents of UK primary school children, only 34% told researchers their kids had ridden a bike in the last month. One in 20 said their child had never ridden a bike.
The poll also found that school children in cities were the least likely to have used a bike this year (41%) with the figure reaching almost half (49%) of those in London.
Even for those who are riding bikes, 49% said they spend under an hour each month cycling, or two minutes per day on average.
Parents blame lack of safe spaces and dangerous traffic for the demise in children cycling, the study found.
Among the main reasons for not riding a bike more often are that there aren’t enough safe, local spaces (20%) or that traffic is too hazardous (20%).
But parents do want their children to cycle. In fact, two-thirds (67%) cited it as one of the vital life skills to pass onto children, alongside swimming and money management.
Raleigh UK spokesperson Michelle Jakeway said: “Most adults will remember the sense of freedom riding a bike brought them and we saw once again just how much happiness cycling can bring during the lockdowns, with record numbers of grown-ups getting on two wheels.
“So, it’s a real shame to see that many kids aren’t getting to experience that too. The simple joy of cycling, and the health benefits it can bring, should be encouraged and open to everyone.”
A September survey commissioned by Sustrans released ahead of Bike to School Week found that only 2% of children cycle to school, despite more wishing they could.