Students attending the Beacon School in Banstead were this week informed that they will need number plates on their bikes if they wish to cycle to school.
A letter dated November 13 states that from Monday December 11, all students of the academy school for 11-18 year olds, “will require a cycling permit in the form of a number plate.”
The permit is obtained and issued after students and parents/carers sign a cycling agreement. “The number plate must be attached to the student’s bicycle underneath the seat so that all students can be identified cycling to and from school.”
Students are asked to follow the Highway Code; to take responsibility for the roadworthiness of their bikes; to behave “in a manner which shows them and the school in the best possible light”; and to use bike lights and hi-vis clothing “as appropriate”.
Parents are also advised: “Please note that should a student not ride safely to school or wear a helmet, the school will inform parents and may refuse the student permission to cycle to school in the future. Should a student continue to cycle to school once permission has been revoked the school will lock the bicycle until a parent/carer is available to collect the bicycle.”
The letter begins by listing some of the benefits of cycling to school.
- Improving health through physical activity
- Establishing positive active travel behaviour
- Promoting independence and improving safety awareness
- Reducing congestion, noise and pollution in the community
- Reducing environmental impact of the journey to school
Headteacher Keith Batchelor, who described himself as “a very slow recreational cyclist,” 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.
“We live in a beautiful area for cycling but also the roads are extremely busy, with the school being next to the A217 which links the M25 with south London. Our refined policy is there to promote safe cycling so that our students can be active lifelong riders.”