|First day: Single file on a direct cycle-|
path between a village and Assen
|A discussion with Dutch students|
allowed experiences to be shared.
|Posing with the Fietsles (cycling|
lesson) statue in Groningen
This is one of the reasons why there was interest in comparing the conditions in which Norwegian and Dutch children and teenagers cycle, because how pleasant the conditions are for cycling certainly affects how much people will cycle.
|Pre-schoolers in Groningen riding home|
from day-care on their own bikes
Amongst the items in their presentation was this film, made by the two older students, Ingvild Stensrud and Herman Andreassen. It combines footage from a pre-school, primary school and secondary school in Assen and Groningen. See how children, all types of children, even very young, with disabilities, from immigrant families, cycle to school in the Netherlands and gain independence by doing so:
This was a wonderful group to host. The confident and intelligent manner of the teenagers outshone their ages. They were genuinely interested in the issues and they asked sensible questions.
|The last day: Confident and without|
|One of the missing|
in a bin on Friday
|Index of child well-being for a|
range of countries. High cycling
countries highlighted in orange
The connection with cycling should not be surprising. Dutch children and teenagers see cycling as freedom. Even though we live in a rural area and the distance that some have to travel to get to their chosen school can be long, there are no school buses here. We were told by in our school meeting in Assen that one of their students currently rides more than 60 km as a round trip each day to get to school and back home. This is interrupted only for a brief period mid-winter when her parents object to her riding the entire way in darkness. Why prefer cycling ? Because otherwise she'd miss out on the social aspect of riding with other students.
|Subjective safety at work: Five Dutch|
children on skates and one on a go-kart
chasing us as we pass a man walking
two dogs. All separate from the road
Children and teenagers need freedom. Instead of designing around adults in cars, planners must design around the needs of children. Children must be seen as the rightful heirs of our future transport network.
We still have places on the public study tour in May, and can organise tours on most dates to suit groups. Contact us to make a booking. We would be very pleased to meet with an official group from Norway this year. We can show you exactly what the students saw.
Please also read more feedback from the Norwegian group.
Around 4% of journeys in Norway as a whole are made by bicycle. Youtube videos reveal many of the same problems for cyclists in Oslo as in many other cities around the world. Click for more stories about school travel in the Netherlands.