Health and safety row puts junior cyclists back in the car

A Portsmouth primary school has effectively banned one of its pupils from riding to school unless his mother follows behind him in her car. 

When Sam O'Shea said he wanted to "take the green option" and ride the two miles to school his mother was delighted, but staff at St Paul's Primary School were not. They said that due to a lack of storage space Sam's mother would need to drive behind himand then take his bike home in her car, they also claimed that the streets around the school were too dangerous for child cyclists.

Mrs O'Shea was not impressed speaking to the Daily Mail she said: 

"Cycling is a fantastic way of getting to school. We mollycoddle our children far too much by taking them from door to door - we are not preparing them for the future.

" was astounded by the school's decision. And I am deeply offended that all the feedback from the school implies that by wanting my son to cycle to school I am putting the lives of children at risk. Nothing could be further from the truth.'  

Sam called the ban "appalling', adding: I love cycling and do it all the time with my dad."

Headteacher Fran Chapman today defended her school's stance to the Mail saying:

"The road outside the school is a very dangerous place. At the beginning and the end of the day it gets extremely congested."

However the head did say that the school will review its rules if plans to make the road one-way are approved, she added.

Pro-cycling campaigners today labelled the school 'behind the times'.

Commenting on the situation, Cherry Allan, from the CTC said there was no law allowing a school to ban a child from cycling from home and which by refusing to allow Sam to store his bike they in effect doing.

'Cycling is a really good activity for children and if the parents are happy for their son or daughter to cycle to school then the school should be as well.'

She also pointed out that the School itself was responsible for generating much of the traffic.

'It is a ridiculous situation and deeply disappointing,' she said.


Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.