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Educational miniature road system opens in Nottingham

Kids will be able to learn safe riding skills in a fun environment

Children are to be encouraged to learn about road safety on a miniature road system that has been built in Nottingham.

The bike track features zebra crossings, roundabouts, junctions and even working traffic lights.

It was built at a cost of £135,000, and will be available 24/7 for toddlers to 11 year olds to practice using scooters and bikes.

The local council also hopes to begin some formal training sessions there.

Jo Gotheridge, 56, with her two grandchildren, of Mapperley, told the Nottingham Post: “It seems really good. Hopefully it is teaching them about road safety, something which concerns me because of the speed and amount of traffic nowadays.

“I think things like this are necessary because it reinforces what you teach children but in a safe environment.”

Lisa King, 42, of Cotgrave, said: “It is brilliant. We have never seen anything like this before. We would like something it where we live.”

Her eight-year-old daughter Olivia added: "It is good because we can learn about the road. It's fun and I have already learnt to stop at zebra crossings."

Nigel Alldread, 45, from The Meadows, took his four-year-old daughter to the opening and said: "I think it is a great facility for everyone.

"As a cyclist myself, I think it is important kids learn about road safety at an early age.

"Cyclists and car drivers can both cause problems for each other so it's important for kids to learn the right way to ride."

It was opened by Councillor Dave Trimble, the portfolio holder for leisure and culture at Nottingham City Council, and was attended by members of the public and local cycling organisations.

He said: “I’m really proud to be here today to talk to some of the children and parents about how they are enjoying the new track.

“It’s wonderful to see so many local people popping in to the opening of the bike park and we've had a great deal of interest from the local community.

“This is exactly what the project is for – to offer local families a place to bring their young cyclists, to have some fun in a safe environment and to ensure they learn a few key rules on road safety along the way.”

A few years ago, we reported how 55 per cent of children would rather cycle to school than travel by car but only one per cent actually do.

The research also showed that 38 per cent of children seek the independence and freedom cycling would bring, but are prevented because of their parents’ concerns about their safety.

The findings were the result of an online survey conducted amongst a random sample of nearly 1000 children aged between nine and 11, across England and Wales.

Far from being the couch potatoes they are often portrayed as being, the children who were consulted showed they are switched on to the benefits of cycling with 33 per cent believing cycling to school would make them more alert and better prepared for the school day.

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9 comments

Avatar
matthewn5 | 6 years ago
1 like

I remember going to one of these in primary school! Heaps of fun.

Avatar
antigee | 6 years ago
4 likes

is that an extensive car park I see in the distance? sadly I guess children and bike will arrive by car because it would be too dangerous to do otherwise

a good target for local authorities would be to ensure that all families have access directly from home to safe recreational cycling - a bit like safe routes to schools this means looking at communities and seeing what the barriers are and then acting to remove them - takes political will not just money 

facilities like this are a sad confirmation that normal roads are not a safe place for cyclists or pedestrians

Avatar
brooksby replied to antigee | 6 years ago
5 likes
antigee wrote:

is that an extensive car park I see in the distance? sadly I guess children and bike will arrive by car because it would be too dangerous to do otherwise

a good target for local authorities would be to ensure that all families have access directly from home to safe recreational cycling - a bit like safe routes to schools this means looking at communities and seeing what the barriers are and then acting to remove them - takes political will not just money 

facilities like this are a sad confirmation that normal roads are not a safe place for cyclists or pedestrians

Some of the more inconsiderate motorists are those with bikes strapped to the roof...

Avatar
dodpeters | 6 years ago
6 likes

This seems rather pointless in a country where parents don't consider it safe enough to let their kids cycle and our approach to road safety is based on making roads as dangerous as possible to exclude vulnerable potential users.

Avatar
ConcordeCX replied to dodpeters | 6 years ago
6 likes
dodpeters wrote:

This seems rather pointless in a country where parents don't consider it safe enough to let their kids cycle and our approach to road safety is based on making roads as dangerous as possible to exclude vulnerable potential users.

how else are tomorrow's road warriors and lycra louts going to learn to jump the red lights properly?

Avatar
Roberts Clubman replied to ConcordeCX | 6 years ago
2 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:
dodpeters wrote:

This seems rather pointless in a country where parents don't consider it safe enough to let their kids cycle and our approach to road safety is based on making roads as dangerous as possible to exclude vulnerable potential users.

how else are tomorrow's road warriors and lycra louts going to learn to jump the red lights properly?

I imagine they'll get behind the wheel of a car like many of the other red light jumpers I see on my daily commute.

Avatar
Metaphor | 6 years ago
3 likes

And get out the middle of the road!

Avatar
Metaphor | 6 years ago
5 likes

Just look at him - no hi-viz, no lights, no insurance and pays no road tax!!!!!

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 6 years ago
11 likes

I hope they add in some realistic elements. They should have some pedal-driven cars driven by teens and have them close-pass the kids and shout at them to use the bl**dy bike lane coz they don't pay road tax.

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