We have a new entry to our Cycling Hall of Shame. Only a matter of few weeks since we reported on a school in London that required its pupils to secure written permission from the head teacher before they cycle to school, comes news the news from one particular school in Banstead that they require kids to display a number plate on their bikes.
Road.cc reports that the Beacon School in Banstead this week informed its students that they will need number plates on their bikes if they wish to cycle to school.
School threatens to impound bicycles
Headteacher Keith Batchelor goes further still. If students exercise their legal right to cycle without a helmet they receive a warning from the school and if they ignore this warning, the school impounds the bicycle. We are pretty certain the school does not have the right to confiscate a bicycle in this way, but the broader point is that, at present, individual schools are entitled to formulate a policy on cycling based on little more than the personal whims of the head teacher concerned.
Keith Batchelor told road.cc: “I am extremely positive about the role of cycling and the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling. I have seen number plate systems be highly effective in a number of schools which support students to cycle safely to school.”
“The system will allow us to target cycle training and safety awareness sessions to our students, to reward good and safe cycling by giving members of the community a way to give us feedback about how our students are using the roads locally. As well as helping us to discuss with students any occasions where their cycling may not meet our expectations.
“Alongside this we are also expecting students to wear helmets, be visible, use lights and ride bikes that are road safe.
The ETA is calling on government to formulate standardised advice on cycling for schools.
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