pjclinch wrote:I think some of those are perceptual/cultural more than practical (that's not to suggest they're not real barriers, but perhaps not quite the same barriers people thought they were dealing with).
NL isn't that different from here in that mums will tend to do more childcare than dads, yet actually more women cycle in NL than men. It's certainly more likely you'd have a sensible cycling route to school there, but plenty of British schools are quite bike accessible, but not bike accessed.
With the right bike you can take all the stuff (and children) required.
Showers are much talked about here because commute riding has a lot of crossover with sports riders, but again NL proves you don't have to work up a sweat. I used to deliver my 2 children to primary school on a 3-seater bike and then continue to work. I never had to take a shower or change when I arrived (and that's a 20 Kg bike up a fair sized hill, I just took my time in a low gear). And as with the cargo bike, electric options now available can be very helpful.
Skirts may not be as practical as trousers or shorts for riding, but it's certainly not impossible. The typical Dutch omafiets has a skirt-guard as standard, but they're generally not necessary. My daughter often used a dress or skirt at primary (though trousers were an option she sometimes went with) and it was never an issue on the 3 seater, and once she'd graduated to riding herself it was still no problem:
You can also see in that they both have their bags with them, though the 3-seater had room for 4 so I could take their bags and still have plenty of space for any luggage I needed myself.
There will be numerous individual cases where a car is simply a better practical tool, but for many I suspect much of the problem is that with such a car-centric culture many people don't realise that a bike and everyday practical transport have quite the overlap they do. My wife or I rode the kids to school, and then escorted them (before leaving it all t them) not because we're eco-warrior bike activists, but because it was much less of a chore than driving and as a side-effect did everyone a bit of good. But this was easy for us, we already cycled by default so we knew it's not hard. The hardest thing is change, especially from a general default option. Why do so many people do the school run by car? Because everyone else does, that's what we do in the UK...
Do you actually really believe that, sorry but I don't. I think there is a significant difference between our cultures and on many levels. Crime is massively greater here, drugs offences are 14x greater, overall crime is 31% higher, assault, robbery, rape all significantly higher (as a % not just outright number) in the UK. I think their social structure is significantly different (and better) than ours.
Then they have a Royal family whom the vast majority respect and adore, there was a video not that long back of the princess cycling to school, on her own, in her ordinary clothes on an ordinary bike, no hi-vis, no noddy hat, that role model for girls is nowhere in the UK.
The Dutch PM even cycles, again, no noddy hat, no his vis, the last time we had anything akin to that was Boris J before he went up the political ladder (but was forced to wear a plastic hat due to pressure) and so stopped, Cameron cycled maybe a few times in London but had hi-vis sash and hat, okay he was photographed socially cycling but again that was before he went up the ladder, both of them were generally ridiculed for cycling in any case and probably told not to cycle to work by security/plod because it's too dangerous, when in fact you're probably more at risk in a car being driven in London if the fear is an attack by some nutjob.
Too many in this country are the dregs and they breed, the media stirs up rubbish and hate crime occurs as a consequence of that media dirge, added in to which we have a government that is simply not interested in addressing the major problems that face our nation, uses the victim blame card all too readily and allow machinery operated by humans in public that kill and maim by the tens of thousands annually whilst doing sugar all to change that. I don't see that in the Netherlands by their government, police etc, that's a different culture/way of thinking that is rooted in the majority, not the extreme minority here.