We should encourage young cyclists

PUBLISHED: 17:57 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

SIR - It now costs £40 for a child to take their cycling proficiency test. Or to put it more precisely, a personal cycling risk assessment. For £40 you could almost buy a new bike. On that premise, maybe a car driving test should be around £14,000, the av

SIR - It now costs £40 for a child to take their cycling proficiency test.

Or to put it more precisely, a personal cycling risk assessment. For £40 you could almost buy a new bike.

On that premise, maybe a car driving test should be around £14,000, the average cost of a new family motor car.

Cycle England, the government's advisory body on cycling, has received £15m of additional funding from the Department for Transport to encourage more children to cycle to school.

If this strategy for health and safety for our youngsters were a success why is it that according to cycling organisations, there has been a 50 per cent decline in cycling in one generation and more than 90 per cent of youngsters have never cycled to school.

As the government has stated clearly that it intends to tackle childhood obesity, we should be encouraging the young to exercise by cycling safely, not preventing them by charging an extortionate amount.

If the combined military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently at about £7bn, to fight in a war that few people understand, why can't a little bit more be spent on a cause that we do?

Chris Whitelegg, Howlands, WGC.

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