London school will force pupils with bikes to wear number plates

A high school is being criticised for forcing bike-riding pupils to wear number plates – or risk being banned from cycling

The Evening Standard has reported that Stanley Park High school, in south London, is imposing a rule that students cycling to school must have number plates on their bikes – or risk being banned from travelling that way.

The school says that the move is to ensure the public can report irresponsible cycling if they need to.

Head teacher, Amit Amin, said that there have been incidents before in which students have cycled in a way that “endangers themselves and others.”

The school will hand out number plates on 1 October which pupils must wear on their bikes during both legs of their journey.

In a statement, the school said: “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.”

Duncan Dollimore from Cycling UK responded to this move by asking why Stanley Park High “want to make cycling to school more difficult.”

He said: “They should be looking to make active journeys easier and more attractive. Worryingly, this behaviour seems to be part of a trend of head teachers trespassing on parental responsibilities.”

Schools in Coventry, Surrey and St Albans have also recently begun regulating what pupils wear while cycling. Students found to be flouting guidelines have been threatened with having their bikes confiscated.

Cycling UK added that placing restrictions on cycling “could have a negative effect” on the number of children who travel to school by bike, which is good exercise for pupils.

Dollimore commented that schools should focus on encouraging local authorities to adopt slower speed limits and traffic-calming measures.

“This will make cycling safer for their pupils, not number plates on bikes,” he added.

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