Where in London do you feel safe riding a bike with children?

At Mayor's Question Time recently Boris Johnson was told of a family who'd complained of difficulties getting from their home to one of his carfree Skyride events because the roads weren't at all inviting.

The Mayor responded by saying that families have the choice to join guided rides to the Skyrides.

Our question to you is...

Where in London do you feel safe riding a bike with children?

  • Will you ride with children on main roads or back streets?
  • Do you carry children on your own bike, in a trailer, or do they ride themselves?
  • Where are the best places to ride with children in your neighbourhood?
  • If you don't have kids, what do you think when you see families on the roads?
  • Have you had different experiences cycling with children overseas?

This post was edited by London Cycling Campaign at 6:17pm 20 November 2012.

Replies

I'll ride with children most places, most roads; I'd baulk at riding (on-road) the 30+mph roads  like the A3, and Kingston Hill, and avoid dual carriageways such as Bushey Road. A 10 year - old led a group of us through the Rosehill Roundabout on the A217 - OK, it was a Sunday afternoon. 

I did take my little boy down the road in the basket of a butcher's bike, but sadly we've both grown up a bit. If there had been trailers then (60s-70s) I think I would happily have had one. I used to put the neighbourhood bikes on a very large roof rack and drive the kids to Richmond Park.

In my neighbourhood (West Merton) the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field Links to a not-too-bad network of quieter roads and tracks to Sutton and the towpath delights of Kingston, and you can even reach Richmond Park's Tasmin Trail.

Seeing a young Mum confidently shepherding her six-year-old riding through Kingston rush-hour was a lovely experience. And it was in the dark.

To get to the Skyride from Kings Cross we pushed accross the Euston Road and then followed the quiet streets past Coram's Fields and along Lamb's Conduit Street.  A push accross High Holborn took us to Lincoln's Inn and then down to another push over Aldwych.  All ok on a Sunday morning with kids aged 8 and 13.

Places to cycle in London with kids:  Sunny Hill Park in Hendon has a cycle path right round most of the perimeter and it is just off the A1 which has shared use pavements along a much of it, so getting there is ok, if noisy.

Adam

Around the Dome is nice.

  • By KBse23 at 3:29pm 26 September 2011

Well, the question could be worded better, I assume the safety concern is towards the children? Sadly where I live to get anywhere usually means cycling on busy roads like the south circular or using narrow roads and I don't feel my children are safe on them. My wife has been verbally abused by a van driver (revving his engine behind them) whilst cycling with our 10 year old daughter. I have previously been cut up by a bus driver and abused by the driver whilst cycling with my child on a child seat. We have experienced getting cut up and passed way too close for comfort many times.  We still do, but not as much as we would like to.

  • By TSO at 8:40am 27 September 2011

When cycling in Amsterdam last month I was positively surprised to see a young mother cycling with her three – 3! – Kids on a single standard bike.  One in front on the mini seat they have there, one infant in a baby carrier, and the last one in the back child seat.  Only in a proper safe cycle city – with excellent facilities - would you risk that.  Not a common seen thing in London, yet.

  • By gegi at 10:21am 27 September 2011

No it's not common in London. But I have done that quite regularly with my three kids. They are now old enough (7, 9 and 11) to ride on their own and we do cycle up to about 8 miles at a time.

I tend to prefer main roads because you get more space. The biggest problem for us are ignorant and stupid drivers. It only takes one or two in the course of your journey to spoil it and indeed make it quite dangerous.

These drivers are a particular problem on minor roads because they may be forced to wait for 3.5 seconds and we can't have that of course.

  • By Stily1 at 1:05pm 20 December 2011

I wouldn't!

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