UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Bikeability Dataset based on Millennium Cohort Study, Fifth Survey, 2012

Title details

SN: 7942
Title: Bikeability Dataset based on Millennium Cohort Study, Fifth Survey, 2012
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7942-1
Depositor: Goodman, A., London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Centre for Population Studies
Principal investigator(s): Goodman, A., London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Centre for Population Studies
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council


The citation for this study is:

Goodman, A. (2016). Bikeability Dataset based on Millennium Cohort Study, Fifth Survey, 2012. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 7942,

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Subject Categories

Physical fitness and exercise - Health
Youth - Social stratification and groupings


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

Promoting cycling, including promoting cycling among children, would be expected to deliver substantial benefits in terms of population health and environmental sustainability. Many children do not meet government recommendations in terms of the amount of exercise they do, and increasing levels of cycling would be one way in which they could incorporate additional physical activity into their everyday lives. In addition, many children are currently driven relatively short distances by their parents to be dropped off at school or other destinations. If more children instead made these trips by bicycle then this would also be expected to reduce the congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with motorised transport. Since 2007, one of the Department for Transport's flagship policies to promote cycling is the delivery of 'Bikeability' cycle proficiency training in schools. Currently, around half of children in England are offered the training for free before they leave primary school, and the annual cost of the programme to the Department for Transport is £11 million. However there exists very little robust evidence regarding which particular children get the cycle training, or regarding the effect the scheme has on subsequent cycling behaviour. In collaboration with the Department for Transport, this proposal will seek to fill these gaps in the evidence using data from the 5th Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). MCS is a nationally-representative birth cohort which has now been surveyed five times, most recently in 2012 at age 10/11. In this most recent sweep, 8,700 parents in England were asked if their children had "ever done any formal cycling proficiency training such as Bikeability". Parents were also asked how often their children used their bicycles. Using these data, we will seek to answer two broad research questions. First we will examine which individual, family and area characteristics help explain why some children do cycle raining and some do not; for example, are boys more likely than girls to get the training, or are children from richer areas more likely to get the training than those from poorer areas? Second, we will examine whether children do in fact cycle more often if they have been offered cycle training in school. Answering this second question will involve comparing children whose schools had already offered cycle training at the time of the MCS survey with children whose schools offered cycle training later in the same year. If cycle training is effective, our prediction is that the first set of children would report cycling more often than the second set of children. As a part of this second research question, we will examine whether there is any evidence that cycle training works better for some sorts of children than for others - for example, whether it has a bigger effect on boys than on girls. Together, answering these two questions will provide the most robust evidence to date regarding the effectiveness of cycle training in schools, and regarding whether all children benefit equally. Our non-academic partners, the Department for Transport, will then be able to use this evidence as part of deciding how best to pursue their goal of increasing cycling in childhood in an effective, cost-effective and equitable manner. Our findings will also have broader relevance for the international evidence base, helping to address the current lack of robust studies examining the effectiveness and equity of different types of policies to promote cycling.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 01 September 2010 - 31 August 2012
Dates of fieldwork: 01 December 2013 - 31 August 2014
Country: England
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Universe: National
8,700 parents in England
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Method of data collection: Self-completion
Weighting: No weighting used

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 11 April 2016
Copyright: A. Goodman
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Study Documentation 7942uguide.pdf 658
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7942_Information.htm 6
READ File read7942.htm 10
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By principal investigator(s):
- Goodman A, van Sluijs E, Ogilvie D: 'Cycle training for children: which schools offer it and who takes part?' Journal of Transport and Health, (2015), 2:512–521.
- Goodman A, van Sluijs E, Ogilvie D: 'Impact of offering cycle training in schools upon cycling behaviour: a natural experimental study.' International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, (2016), 13:34.

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