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School to ban kids from cycling to school without number plates

Joe Robinson
25 Sep 2018

Cycling UK calls move just another obstacle preventing kids from getting on bikes

In yet another step to making riding bikes for kids a near-impossible task, a South London secondary school has announced it will enforce number plates on its student's bikes if they wish to ride to school.

Stanley Park High, in Carshalton, announced it would be introducing this system in order for members of the public to report pupils who cycle dangerously while teachers commented that this bizarre measure had the primary aim of keeping its students safe. 

The number plate scheme is due to come into effect as of Monday 1st October with head teacher, Amit Amin, announcing the decision via the school's website. 

Amin wrote 'From Monday 1st October, all students who cycle to school will be required to display a school-issued bicycle number plate when riding to and from school.

'The aim of the scheme is to promote cycling as healthy, fun and a means of transport. Safety issues will be central to our scheme, including visibility, road awareness and bike maintenance.

'Workshops will be offered to students, and subsidised equipment such as cycle lights will be made available.'

Amin added, 'We fully support cycling to school, which is a sustainable means of transport and provides great exercise. Promoting cycling and the benefits it brings is part of the school’s travel plan, and we encourage all our students to consider it.'

Amin then went on to cite that students of the school were last week involved in a collision with a car and that although all involved avoided injury, it acted as a 'timely reminder that action is necessary.'

The school has stressed that these measures will work to encourage cycling to school although the UK's national cycling charity, Cycling UK, considers this just another measure that makes cycling to school a more arduous task.  

Ducan Dollimore, of Cycling UK, told the BBC that Mr Amin's decision is 'part of a trend of head teachers trespassing on parental responsibilities' while also making 'cycling to school more difficult'.

Dollimore instead stressed that local authorities should focus their attention on the reduction of speed limits near schools.

The decision from Stanley Park High follows a trend of schools placing restrictions on whether kids can cycle to school including mandatory helmet use and cycling safety tests.

Chris Boardman, former professional cyclist and now cycling commissioner for Greater Manchester, shared his disbelief on the situation via a single tweet.

Either way, it is highly likely that these provisions are just going to add yet another barrier between students and cycling to school, and will deter rather than encourage pupils from picking the bike over the bus or a parent's car.

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