Adults’ attitudes towards child cycling: a study of the impact of infrastructure

Publication date: 
March 2015
Document file: 

Document types:

Document geography:

Geographical spread:


Research on cycle infrastructure preferences generally suggests a preference for off-road cycle infrastructure and segregation from motor traffic, among both existing cyclists and non-cyclists. However, studies have so far not explored how the presence of children might shape adults’ attitudes to cycle infrastructure. Similarly, studies on the determinants of child cycling have not as yet looked in depth at the impact of parental attitudes to specific infrastructure types.

This paper reports on an online survey about how people’s preferences might vary, depending on whether they were making a cycle journey alone, travelling with a child, or considering whether to let an older child travel alone. Respondents were also asked whether they thought each of ten infrastructure scenarios were suitable for ‘most people’. The paper discusses findings from the online survey, identifying changes in preferences and investigating subgroup variation. The presence of children makes a major difference to people’s willingness to cycle in the more challenging situations. There is substantial consensus across subgroups over the extent to which the various examples are suitable for cycling with children.