[Forum] Children in cycle trailers on the road – stupid?

Child cycle trailer. [photo: tylerconk; licence cc-by 2.0]

I’m absolutely astonished by the irresponsible parents I have seen in Bradley Stoke who think its fine to tow an extremely vulnerable child in a trailer behind a bicycle ON THE ROAD! How stupid is that!!!

Phil Holes

Photo: Library image by tylerconk [licence cc-by 2.0]

Share this page:

  1. If there are no dedicated cycle path available, where will they cycle with a tow? i disagree with the OP. Not enough details are available to say why its a stupid act?

  2. Absolutely. Also people cycling on the roads with ear phones in, totally oblivious to what is going on around them. Should be a crime like driving and using a hand held device is.

  3. Not really irresponsible or stupid. Just parents choosing a healthy way to get from A to B with their young children. Do you doubt your ability to drive carefully and safely in their vicinity?

  4. Only stupid if you are a dangerous driver who isn’t paying attention.

    Maybe if more parents used them the roads wouldn’t be full of traffic doing short journeys.

    If the council bothered with proper cycle lanes it would be even better.

    More children are killed on foot in Bradley Stoke by dangerous drivers than in bike carriers. Fact. Perhaps we should ban children walking?

  5. It’s not the bike riders but the drivers who are irresponsible, I walk with my children in the morning & struggle to cross by the roundabout here because the drivers come around so fast and more often than not, don’t bother to indicate. If you’re that late for work, get up earlier. As for the trailers I’m happy for the parents to use these on the pavement, I don’t appreciate bike riders using the pavement for any other reason however. Maybe better education is needed for both.

  6. I would definitely not take one of these trailers on the road with children in. My husband and daughter both ride motorbikes and often get irresponsible car drivers coming too close (my husband has had a van hit him doing this), if this happened to a trailer I dread to think of the consequences. There are plenty of cycle paths so bike riders should use them for their own safety.

  7. To those that think its ok to tow a small child just read what Kate had to say as its to do with irresponsible drivers, well that’s my point DONT PUT YOUR CHILD AT RISK as there could be some irresponsible drivers on the road or some that just don’t see you! Sometimes you have to do things that are not what you may want but do whats best for the safety of your child as they can do nothing about it, but you can. Wanting the choice of healthy life style and the freedom to do what you want is not an option in this case and irreversible if the worst was to happen.

  8. Nearly all the paths I’ve seen in Bradley stoke have the pedestrian/cycle blue sign up so cyclists can and should use the footpaths instead of the road. You walkers will just have to keep an eye out :p

  9. My goodness, this happens in Bradley Stoke? And there I was thinking it was only an international thing. You know, multiple cities and multiple countries. And to think people are now doing this in a local town! Whatever next?

    Isn’t illegal to cycle on the pavement? And slightly more illegal to collide ones motor vehicle into a cyclist?

    I fail to see how this is any more dangerous than parents who maneuver their pushchair into the street expecting traffic to stop for them without waiting or properly checking 😛

  10. Instead of ranting about how ‘stupid’ they are (of course, that makes you look super-smart), perhaps you should do some research.

    Here’s an interesting article (from Harvard, no less) about the reasons parents would choose to use a trailer instead of a seat. http://hea-www.harvard.edu/~fine/opinions/childcarriers.html

    Just remember – every time you see a cyclist with a trailer it could be your kid with your grandkid in tow, so give them a wide berth. And don’t call them stupid.

  11. What is stupid is the attitude of these so-called responsible parents who moan about how dangerous it is to ride a bike on the road, then hook their kids up to the back of the bike and head off onto the carriageway.

    Car drivers pay raod tax, insurance and MoT fees – not to mention the cost of the daily running of a car and yet cyclists pay nothing.

    Now at this point you may be thinking “well he obviously doesn’t ride a bike”, oh but I have, I used to race when i was living in Surrey on roads far busier than BS, as well as in France and Belgium.

    The problem is any idiot can buy a bike and then just jump onto the public highway without any insurance and just because they have a £30 helmet on (often incorrectly) then they think they are immune to danger and criticism because they aren’t in a car.

    These people are a menace, get them off the roads until they can prove that they are able to be trusted on it, and are willing to contribute towards it.

  12. Still think they are stupid and irresponsible and I’m not super smart just someone who cares and is concerned

  13. Having used both a seat on my bike and a trailer when my kids were small, the trailer was much easier and safer IMO, the article linked to in Willis’ post above gives a good explanation why.

    We are lucky in Bradley Stoke to have a good network of cycle tracks alongside our main roads but on the side streets you don’t really have a choice but to use the road, pedestrians moan enough even on shared use paths where cyclists have an equal right to passage.

    I found drivers were generally very considerate and gave us a wide berth.

  14. Phil, instead of criticising and insulting people who are just getting around using an inherently safe and lawful form of transport maybe you should aim your criticism at those who /may/ put them – and solo cyclists, pedestrians, other motorists, etc. – at risk through dangerous or inattentive driving.

  15. @Richard
    Car drivers pay raod tax, insurance and MoT fees – not to mention the cost of the daily running of a car and yet cyclists pay nothing.

    No, they don’t. Road tax was abolished in 1937. Motorists pay Vehicle Excise Duty, which is a tax on cars and other vehicles. The funds raised from VED go into HM Treasury’s general fund as do receipts from income tax, etc. Basically anyone who pays tax in UK funds the road network.

    I do agree about the insurance issue though, especially as it can cost as little as £16 a year to get third party cover as a cyclist. (I’m insured)


    ‘stupid’, ‘irresponsible’ and ‘extremely vulnerable’ are needlessly emotive words. They don’t add to your argument. You disagree with the parent’s perception of risk, that’s all.

  16. Craig you know perfectly well what I meant by road tax, which is why I didn’t capitalise the words.
    I work the government so don’t start preaching to me about how the distribution of taxation works.
    Got it?

  17. @Richard – Where ever you go mate there will always be a cyclist who will tell you what ‘Road tax’ is… Check twitter there is full of cyclists who are ready to pounce on you if you say ‘Cyclists don’t pay road tax’

    The best chat up line from a cyclist is: “Road tax was abolished in 1937, motorists pay Vehicle Excise Duty”. Usually i just yawn at them.

  18. Collecting taxes from Cyclists will be as difficult as collecting tax from Starbucks, Amazon etc.

    Bicycles are sold without log books, so how can taxes be collected.

    As a cyclist who cycles to work most days using the cycle paths what really angers me is cyclists on the road cycling adjacent to the cycle track.

    It may take me an extra minute or two to get to work using the cycle paths but this better than being on the road increasing my of an accident.

  19. I carried both my kids safely in a trailer and now they have outgrown it I use it for shopping. The only cycling incidents I have had is when cars do not give me enough room when I am cycling on my own, or when they can’t be bothered to stop at a junction when I have right of way.

    They are far more respectful when I have the trailer on the bike. It is safer than using a child seat as a moving child on a seat affects the balance of the bike.

    I do pay to have my bike insured and serviced.

    From what I can see bike haters generally think they have a divine right to the road and anyone who they think gets in their way is taking their rights away. Either that or they are jealous that despite how much a car costs I can cycle to work more quickly than I can drive.

    Every time I cycle I am not using petrol which means there is more to go round for those who drive vehicles. If you can afford it!

  20. Rule 163 of the Highway Code says that a driver should give a cyclist the same amount of room when overtaking as he would a car, so it practice this means being moving to the next lane, or the opposite side of the road. There therefore should be no reason to hit a bicycle trailer.

    Richard Says:
    Tuesday 7th May 2013 at 12:43 pm
    >Car drivers pay raod tax, insurance and MoT fees – not to mention the cost of the daily running of a car and yet cyclists pay nothing.
    & Richard Says:
    Saturday 1st June 2013 at 6:07 pm
    >Craig you know perfectly well what I meant by road tax, which is why I didn’t capitalise the words.

    So why did you mention it then, along with the fact that cyclists pay nothing? Drivers of zero VED rated cars also pay nothing. Does that make you angry, too?

    Richard Says:
    Saturday 1st June 2013 at 6:07 pm
    >I work the government so don’t start preaching to me about how the distribution of taxation works. Got it?

    So you are fed and clothed by the tax we pay to the exchequer. Is that why you want cyclists to pay for the privilege of owning a bicycle?