Cycling bosses have urged MSPs to provide safer roads by reducing the speed limits in residential streets to 20mph in a bid to encourage more people to cycle.
As part of inquiry into active travel, Holyrood's Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee heard evidence from various cycling bodies.
Nearly three in 10 non-cyclists hesitate to get on their bikes for fear of danger from other motorists, Cycling Scotland said.
Dave du Feu from Spokes told MSPs during his schooldays youngsters cycled to school, but the practice has now stopped.
He went on: "Unless the road system feels and looks welcoming, parents aren't going to allow their kids to cycle."
"If you've got a safe and welcoming cycling infrastructure, then you will cycle whether you're young or old."
Calling for road safety measures, Peter Hawkins of the Cycle Touring Club, Scotland, said: "If the road network out there isn't safe to cycle on, then people aren't going to pick it up."
Mr Hawkins added: "You've got to have a product behind it where the infrastructure is cycle friendly in the first place."
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