Home / Business / Gov.uk websites for under 10s encourage car-use not cycling
The Departments of Education, Health and Employment have four websites aimed at encouraging children to take charge of their health. The websites for Key Stages 3 and 4 major on cycling. The websites for pupils younger than 11 feature little information on cycling. Welltown.gov.uk - aimed at 5 to 7 year olds - eschews cycling in favour of an interactive game to fit child seats into the parental car.

Gov.uk websites for under 10s encourage car-use not cycling

Welltown.gov.uk is for Key Stage 1 pupils (5 to 7 years). Galaxy-h.gov.uk is for Key Stage 2 pupils (7 to 11 years). Lifebytes.gov.uk is for Key Stage 3 pupils (11-14 years). Mindbodysoul.gov.uk is for Key Stage 4 pupils (14 to teens).

Only Lifebytes and Mindbodysoul actively promote cycling. The two websites for younger children have tips on making car journeys safer, but nothing on cycling to school, a massive omission.

Galaxy-h is an out-of-space health website aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils. Children can ‘take Tike cycling’ by choosing items for a bike ride. But there’s nothing here about cycling as a fun activity or as a practical alternative for getting to school, it’s all about making sure Tike is dressed in layers and layers of protective gear.

The Departments of Education and Transport are supposed to be working closely together to encourage cycling to school but no-one seems to have told the writers of the Welltown and Galaxy-h websites.

However, the Bikeforall web portal, a joint initiative of the UK bicycle industry and the Department for Transport, features links that encourage children of all ages to cycle to school:

http://www.bikeforall.net/category.aspx?id=122

http://www.lifebytes.gov.uk/…/phys_try_school.html

http://www.mindbodysoul.gov.uk/…/phys_scho_com4.html

http://www.welltown.gov.uk/…/roadmenu.htm

http://www.galaxy-h.gov.uk/tike_cycling.html

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