Schoolchildren to be given bike number plates to stop irresponsible cycling

Telegraph Reporters
Campaigners accused Stanley Park High in Carshalton, south London, of putting children off cycling - AFP or licensors

A school is forcing children to cycle to school with number plates on their bikes to crack down on irresponsible cycling.

Campaigners accused Stanley Park High in Carshalton, south London, of putting children off the activity by introducing a registration scheme which would enable the public to report pupils.

Responding to Stanley Park High's policy, Chris Boardman, former professional cyclist and Greater Manchester's cycling and walking commissioner, wrote on Twitter: "If I was one of the school governors, I'd be stepping in about now."

The children will soon be issued with number plates which "must be displayed when riding to and from school".

Head teacher Amit Amin said the measure is in response to incidents of children cycling in a way that "endangers themselves and others".

In a message published on the school's website, he wrote: "Students without a number plate will not be permitted to cycle to school, or lock their bicycles on school grounds."

The plates are being introduced on October 1 as part of a wider scheme aimed at encouraging cycling. It also features subsidised bike lights and maintenance workshops.

The school said in a statement: "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 of charity Cycling UK questioned 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 recently began regulating what pupils wear while cycling, with a threat of bike confiscation if guidelines are ignored.

The Government is proposing to introduce new legislation which will see cyclists who kill pedestrians treated in a similar way to dangerous drivers.

The laws are part of a road safety consultation launched after 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016.

Department for Transport figures show that 448 pedestrians were killed on Britain's roads in 2016. Three cases involved collisions with bicycles.