Big Walk and Wheel 2023: Cycling to school safely

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This week is the second half of the ‘Big Walk and Wheel’, an initiative organised by cycling charity Sustrans to promote safe active travel for schoolchildren.

Between the 20th and 31st of March, Sustrans is encouraging schools across the country to get involved by recording the number of journeys to school made by walking, cycling, scooting or with a wheelchair. Currently, almost a million pupils are taking part, and nearly 1,300,000 journeys have been recorded.

As well as demonstrating the benefits of a physically active school run, the Big Walk and Wheel also aims to promote better air quality in local neighbourhoods, and to educate schoolchildren about ways to travel safely and healthily.

Top tips for cycling safely to school

Being able to cycle safely is an important skill for children who want to ride a bike to school. It helps to minimise the risk of cycling accidents and road traffic accidents involving children that can have devastating consequences such as broken bones, head and brain injuries, spinal injuries and in some cases can even be fatal.

With this in mind, Sustrans has put together some helpful tips for children’s cycle safety, suitable for children and adults alike. These include:

  • Ride where you can see and be seen. Wear lights and reflectors, and try to make eye contact with other road users, especially at junctions, to be sure they have seen you.
  • Never jump red lights or cycle on the pavement – this also helps to keep other vulnerable road users safe.
  • Make sure your bike (or your child’s bike) is safe and roadworthy, and that its size is suitable for your child at their stage of growth.
  • If you are cycling with a child, position yourself behind them to protect them.
  • Follow the Highway Code! Older children can make themselves aware of their rights and responsibilities, and adults can teach younger children road safety and awareness to set them up for the future.

Although these tips are useful to ensure that children can cycle responsibly, other road users such as drivers should be conscious of their responsibility to keep cycling children safe, particularly around schools where chaotic traffic is all too common.

Compensation after a cycling accident

Tom Hartigan is a specialist personal injury solicitor based in Novum Law’s Salisbury office. He says:

“It’s great to see Sustrans encouraging schoolchildren to travel to school in healthy and active ways, and to see the huge number of students and schools participating in the Big Walk and Wheel.

“The ability to cycle safely provides children with a lifelong skill, but as vulnerable road users it is crucial that they are provided with a safe environment to cycle in, to avoid the risk of accidents.

“If your child has been injured in a cycling accident that wasn’t their fault, it is vital you speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor with expertise in cycling accident compensation claims. This ensures you receive the best medical treatment, rehabilitation and support available, and secure maximum compensation.”

We have many years of experience helping cyclists and their families secure cycling accident compensation. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to give you the specialist cycling injury claim support you need, and can support you on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.

For a free, no obligation chat, call 0800 884 0777, email or complete our online enquiry form.

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