Mixed reaction as school introduces number plates for cyclists

11.30 | 25 September | | 5 comments

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Children from a south London school have been told they will be banned from cycling if they do not put number plates on their bikes.

Teachers at Stanley Park High in Carshalton are introducing the plates on 1 October alongside measures to encourage cycling, including subsidised bike lights and maintenance workshops.

The number plate scheme, launched in response to incidents of children cycling in a way that ‘endangers themselves and others’, enables members of the public to report pupils who ride dangerously.

On the school’s website, headteacher Amit Amin wrote: “All students who cycle to school will be required to display a school-issued bicycle number plate when riding to and from school.

“Students without a number plate will not be permitted to cycle to school, or lock their bicycles on school grounds.”

Cycling UK has questioned why the school – which says the main aim is to keep pupils safe – ‘wants to make cycling to school more difficult’.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, told BBC News Mr Amin’s actions were ‘part of a trend of head teachers trespassing on parental responsibilities’.

Mr Dollimore said schools should focus on encouraging local authorities to adopt 20mph speed limits and traffic-calming measures instead of making ‘cycling to school more difficult’.

Another critic of Stanley Park High’s policy is Chris Boardman, former professional cyclist and Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner.

He posted on Twitter: “If I was one of the school governors, I’d be stepping in about now.”

Mr Amin 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.”


 

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    This is a great idea for the school to extend the responsibility expected in school to the roads outside of it.
    If the child wants their bike to be stored on school property, the introduction of a licence plate that specifically identifies the pupil and the school seems a simple thing to produce and worth a try to reduce ASB and better the schools reputation.


    Liam
    Agree (1) | Disagree (2)
    --1

    Saw a mobility scooter this morning displaying a number plate – it was going much slower than a bicycle and it was on the footway. They’re optional apparently.


    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
    0

    Having number plates will not make children any more responsible.

    It doesn’t work with drivers.

    I’m a pedestrian and have almost been knocked over by drivers who ignore red lights.

    A friend is now disabled because a driver went through a red light and hit her. The driver was never caught. Yet supposedly if all cyclists had number plates then the roads would be safer.

    So how come so many dangerous drivers are still on the roads and even when caught very often get very little punishment? There are drivers out there with more than 12 points on their licence. They all have number plates. The roads should by the logic of the anti cyclist brigade, be accident free.

    When car drivers make comments on road safety articles about the anti car mob and why should they slow down as they didn’t buy a car to go at 20mph, you have to wonder how so many people seem to be blind to the real dangers on our roads.

    And we pedestrians get abuse too. Drivers complain we take too long to walk across pedestrian crossings. We get verbal abuse if we ask drivers to move their cars off pavements. Pedestrians have been blamed when drivers have knocked them over on pavements because they were wearing dark clothing. I’ve had drivers beep their horns at me because I’m not crossing the road fast enough. I have joint problems so don’t walk very fast.

    Some car drivers will not be happy until they are the only people on the road. They complain about every other road user and go on about how much of a danger we all are but ignore their own appalling track record.


    Amanda, Cardiff
    Agree (12) | Disagree (2)
    +10

    The sentiment may be good.

    “Children from a south London school have been told they will be banned from cycling if they do not put number plates on their bikes”

    The school has absolutely no authority to stop anyone cycling because they do not use a number plate on their bike.

    They are opening themselves up to abuse of the system from parents and the public.
    If someone calls in to report an incident with a cyclist they will expect the appropriate feedback.
    If feedback is not forthcoming then the system will collapse.

    Which school do you report them to.

    Rather time consuming for the Head to deal with.

    Attentively lets drop the kids off at school at 4 years old and pick them up at 18.


    Keith
    Agree (4) | Disagree (2)
    +2

    Nothing wrong with inducing a sense of responsibility on the road at an early age. If it makes the children feel more ‘grown-up’ and responsible and on a par with other wheeled road users, it could be a good thing.


    Hugh Jones
    Agree (4) | Disagree (20)
    --16