Your Near Miss Audio Stories

As part of a partnership between The Bike Show and the University of Westminster’s Near Miss Project, we want to hear your audio stories of near misses you’ve experienced while out riding. We’ll play them on an upcoming edition of the show.

You can record your audio using the free recording widget below – just click record and speak into your computer. Or you can do it using a smartphone with the free Audioboom phone app (remember to use the tag ‘nearmiss’ when you hit save).

1. What happened?

2. How did it make you feel?

3. Were there any lasting consequences?

Rolling with Klaus


Klaus Bondam, Director of the Danish Cyclists Federation and former deputy mayor in charge of cycling in Copenhagen rides with ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley to the Hackney Cycling Conference. En route they try to find out how London’s roads compare with cycling cities like Copenhagen. Then Bill joins Kieron Yates and Jack Thurston to discuss what happened at the conference, and where things are with the Mayor of London’s much heralded cycling revolution.

Woods and Wildflowers


Enjoying nature has always been one of the pleasures of cycling. This week we hear from two organisations working to protect and improve Britain’s natural places. Andy Byfield of the charity Plantlife explains his charity’s new campaign about road verges while Garfield Kennedy of the Woodland Trust, which manages hundreds of woods and forests across the country, explains why mountain-bikers and other cyclists are welcome in their woods.

Space for Cycling: The Big Campaign


In what may well be the biggest electoral campaign ever mounted by a cycle campaign group in Britain, Space for Cycling makes a very clear series of demands on candidates for local councils. To talk about Space for Cyclingand about the changing landscape of cycle campaigning is Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign.

Take part in the Big Ride on Saturday 17 May. Full details including feeder rides led by local LCC borough groups.

Use the LCC’s web-based tool to contact candidates in your area.

Find out more about the Space for Cycling national campaign.

Cycling and the Countryside


Cycling in the countryside can be an unparalleled joy. But too often fast, hostile roads and make it worse than cycling in Britain’s urban streets. What’s gone wrong? And more importantly, what can be done about it? Ralph Smyth, transport campaigner at the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, explains what the problems are and what his organisation is doing to improve conditions for cycling in the countryside.

School level data on cycling to school

Cycling Oxford

A recent flurry of twitter discussion on the very low level of cycling to school in Britain, and how poorly this country compares to more cycling-friendly places, prompted me to look for school level data on how children travel to school.

cycle to school

In the map below is every school in England, with data on mode of travel to school from the School Census 2011. The red dots denote schools where less than 2 per cent of children cycle, the purple dots where 2-5% cycle, the blue dots where 5-10% cycle and the green dots where more than 10% cycle.

Why 2011? It’s the most recent data there is since the government stopped collecting this data. It defies belief that with a growing epidemic of childhood obesity, and evidence that fewer kids are walking or cycling to school, the government should respond by pushing its head further into the sand.

Here’s a map of just the schools where more than 10% of children cycle to school:

The top schools in terms of cycling to school? Step forward the Parkside Federation Academies in Cambridge, who reported more than 60% cycling to school.

The schools with least car-dependent pupils were Sarah Bonnell School in Newham and Capital City Academy in Brent, both reporting less than 0.3% of children travelling to school by car. The most car-bound schools are Adlington Primary School in Cheshire, Windlestone School in County Durham and Pannal Primary School in North Yorkshire, which reported a full 99% of children travel to school by car.

Finally, here’s a map showing all schools reporting more than 80% of children get to school by car:

The raw data is available on a Google Fusion Table. I merged the census data with a different dataset containing school addresses, and geocoded that using Google’s geocode service. A few caveats:

1. The School Census on travel to school mode is conducted by a show of hands in assembly. So must be taken with some caution.

2. Some schools did not report cycling figures, all that appears in the data is an ‘x’.

3. Some schools on the map didn’t report any data at all. I think these are mostly independent schools, perhaps they are exempt from the reporting requirements.

4. It’s possible that Google’s geocode process has not processed all the schools, this may take a few more hours/days.

While the low levels of cycling to school is depressing, most primary school children and a large minority of secondary school children still walk to school, a healthy and sociable option, though it does seem walking to school rates are gradually declining in favour of the motorised ‘school run’.

The same data (and more) is presented in a less rough-and-ready way by the School Travel Health Check website.

Thanks to Richard Evans for pointing out that this data exists. And Tejvan Pettinger for the photo.

Campaigning for Cycling


In the middle of possibly the worst week for cycling fatalities in London Mike Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign talks about what his organisation is doing to change things in the city and how an effective cycling campaign requires a single, simple message clearly and imaginatively presented, mass mobilisation and relentless pressure on political decision-makers.

Image credit: zefrog