Other writing

There has been an increased appreciation of the need to better understand urban travel behaviour to encourage modal shift to cycling. However, there are gaps in our understanding of the influences of our broader social context on travel behaviour. These influences could come in different ways such as experiences, observations, conversations (and other social interactions), education, play and through media (mass media and social media). While our experiences and observations that relate to urban travel often come down to transport planning and promotion strategies, the way cycling, and other forms of transport are portrayed in the media doesn’t necessarily fall into the conventional domain of cycling policy and planning. However, there may be untapped potential to engage more fully with creative industries and other media producers to promote cycling and enhance the cycling experience. Here we explore this potential with the example of the development of a children’s book, and question how mainstream media producers could engage with cycling promotion.

There has been an increased appreciation of the need to better understand urban travel behaviour to encourage modal shift to cycling. However, there are gaps in our understanding of the influences of our broader social context on travel behaviour. In this paper, we address this in relation to childhood (0-18 years), a time of life where we are susceptible to different influences as we come to grasp concepts of the world we are growing up in. It is also a time where increased cycling rates are particularly beneficial, for health, confidence and independence, as well as for setting up habits for life. In the case of a child, these influences could come in different forms such as experiences, observations, conversations (and other social interactions), education, play and through media (mass media and social media).  In this presentation we explore these influences and examine where there may be overlooked potential to encourage children to have a positive image of cycling and to partake in cycling.