It's a rhetorical question - of course they do. However, it does not always look much like it. Today I read in the Cambridge Evening News about how following a crash which involved two children going to school in Cambridgeshire on a dangerous road, a school bus has been laid on for others with the same route. However, this has resulted in the bus being withdrawn for another 57 children and they will have to make a similarly dangerous journey by other means.
The truly absurd thing about this is that the distances involved are so short. Sawston to Great Shelford was my commute for nearly two years when I lived in that area. It's a distance of under three miles ( 5 km ). These children should all be able to cycle that distance, and this is where they are really being let down. Why is it that British people put up with conditions on their roads which put their children in danger ?
And as cycling campaigners, where exactly do we expect the next generation of cyclists to come from if children can't ride their bikes such a short distance to school in safety ?
It's a societal problem, not just a cycling problem. And it's not the only societal problem that Britain faces. The UK has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe (the USA has a rate much higher again), a high rate of drug abuse, a knife crime problem, a problem with out of control teens, and the highest rate of binge drinking in Europe. There is a relationship between the policies which make for safe cycling and the social policies which lead to a happy childhood. The top four countries for cycling are also the top four for childhood happiness. Compare the experiences of British children with those of Dutch children.
Whether you are British or not, how does your country measure up ? What are your roads for ?
My rhetorical question received an answer three years after this article was written.
A similar story came up a few months back. If the question in the title sounds vaguely familiar, that's perhaps because it's similar to the one posed in this 1980s pop song.