School initiative introduces bicycle number plates for its students

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A South London school is planning to ban students from cycling to school unless they fit them with a number plate. 


Stanley Park High, in Carshalton, is introducing the scheme to help keep children safe when cycling to school and will also help members of the public report pupils cycling dangerously. 


The ‘Safer Cycling Scheme’ aims to promote cycling to students of the school. Number plates will be free of charge and those signed up are to receive free bike maintenance and subsidised or free equipment such as cycle lights.


Head teacher, Amit Aman, writes on the school’s website “all students who cycle to school will be required to display a school-issued bicycle number plate when riding to and from school.


“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…Encouraging the take up of cycling at a young age is important, so we would thank the many parents who have supported our scheme – we share your commitment to safe cycling.”


A school statement added: "Our absolute priority is the safety of our students, and the aim of this initiative is simply to ensure their safety as they travel to and from school."


Recent, similar schemes and restrictions in the name of safer cycling include compulsory safety tests at Ellis Guilford School in Nottingham and mandatory helmets at Sandringham School in St Albans. 


The proposed scheme has been met with critics; with some saying the move could deter children from exercise.


Duncan Dollimore, from charity Cycling UK, said that schools should focus on encouraging local authorities to adopt 20mph speed limits and traffic-calming measures instead of making "cycling to school more difficult".


Chris Boardman, former professional cyclist and Greater Manchester's cycling and walking commissioner also criticised the policy, tweeting "If I was one of the school governors, I'd be stepping in about now."

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