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Parents angry over 'eco-school' decision...

Parents of children at a primary school in Wales have criticised the school for banning pupils from riding to school and planning to remove the school bike shed to make room for increased staff parking.

Ceri Jeffries, who has three ten-year-olds at the school in Risca, Newport, told the South Wales Argus that she was shocked by the decision of the “eco-friendly” school.

Mrs Jeffries said her children normally rode in a group with four other children, but were now forbidden from taking their bikes on to the school grounds. That means they would have to chain them up outside the school.

She said: “The school is an eco-friendly school but has decided that children are no longer allowed to cycle to and from school, even though children have been doing this for years, including myself as a child.”

According to Mrs Jeffries, teachers had given safety concerns as the reason for the ban, but she said the number of cars near the school was at least as big a problem.

Mrs Jeffries said: “As you can imagine this has upset quite a lot of children and their parents. Childhood obesity is on the rise and promoting healthy eating and exercise is a must. What better way to promote this by encouraging children to cycle to school and by doing so reducing the amount of cars, making it safer for children and the environment?”

Mrs Jeffries said she had been told the school’s bike shed was to be removed to make way for extra staff parking.

That’s also the understanding of Rachel Guy, who has two children at the school, who said she had spoken to head teacher Jayne Arthur about the policy.

Mrs Guy said: “I said to Mrs Arthur, "It’s absolutely ridiculous." She said it’s a health and safety issue.

“My kids rode yesterday, to make a stand really. I’m hoping they haven’t been told off.”

Head teacher Jayne Arthur said: “We are currently working alongside the council’s Road Safety and Health and Safety teams to review the situation and complete risk assessment and traffic survey of the school site. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our pupils remains our utmost priority, and we are seeking to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

31 comments

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 3 years ago
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Love the weasel words from the HT at the end of the article

How do these numpties really THINK their idiotic policy decisions will go over?

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djcritchley [181 posts] 3 years ago
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This “eco-friendly” should be encouraging the staff to cycle and not drive.

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Pondo [19 posts] 3 years ago
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^^ WHS - More bike sheds, less staff parking.

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bigbluebike [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Risca. Eco friendly? If you've ever been there you'll realise how ridiculous that sounds.

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FlatBattery [26 posts] 3 years ago
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They seem to have forgotten the first part of Health & Safety - HEALTH. More CO emitting cars in the school, less healthy cycle to school pupils. Where's the logic?

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 3 years ago
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 24 head teacher !?!  21 what a twat, winner of the prize knobhead award for this month.... welldone  41

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esayers [44 posts] 3 years ago
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So they needed more parking space, decided that the bike shed is the easiest thing to get rid off and used Health and Safety as an excuse to get rid of it. Can they instead put in systems and support to encourage the teachers to cycle to school? That would free up parking space...

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dafyddp [428 posts] 3 years ago
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Here's the school website http://learn.caerphilly.org.uk/riscaprimary/
Might be worth dropping them an email or two pointing out the counter-balance to their policy...

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felixcat [486 posts] 3 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:

Love the weasel words from the HT at the end of the article

Exactly, prime piece of management-speak, Orwell would recognise this variety of newspeak.

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kamoshika [216 posts] 3 years ago
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So, it's not safe to cycle to school because of all the cars, so they make it easier for people to take cars there? WTF?! And these people are educating children? My daughter is 5 and she could see the flaw in their logic.

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kamoshika [216 posts] 3 years ago
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I especially like the commenter on the newspaper website is a cyclist themselves (apparently) but is shocked and horrified that none of the children in the photo are wearing hi-viz or helmets!

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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The school's right. Look at google streetview. It's not safe to cycle there.

They just have the solution ever so slightly wrong. Like dealing with obesity by buying bigger trousers.

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pwake [422 posts] 3 years ago
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PJ McNally wrote:

The school's right. Look at google streetview. It's not safe to cycle there.

They just have the solution ever so slightly wrong. Like dealing with obesity by buying bigger trousers.

How can you tell from Google Streetview? Does it flag idiot drivers etc?
Puts me in mind of comments people make when I tell them I cycle to work; comments like "Ooh! That's a dangerous road!" I've been riding bikes for about forty years now and never been attacked/knocked down by a road!!  3

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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pwake wrote:

How can you tell from Google Streetview? Does it flag idiot drivers etc?

No, just take a peek at the cycling infrastructure.

(hint - there isn't any).

I'm not saying i wouldn't ride there. (I would - and i've ridden much worse). But for primary age kids to do the same?

I can't be the only bike obsessed parent, terrified of the time when my child can't ride on my rack any more. When they can ride a bike independently.

Am I to let them ride to school, with zero infrastructure, knowing that one "idiot driver" could take them from me?

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Colin Peyresourde [1810 posts] 3 years ago
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PJ McNally wrote:
pwake wrote:

How can you tell from Google Streetview? Does it flag idiot drivers etc?

No, just take a peek at the cycling infrastructure.

(hint - there isn't any).

I'm not saying i wouldn't ride there. (I would - and i've ridden much worse). But for primary age kids to do the same?

I can't be the only bike obsessed parent, terrified of the time when my child can't ride on my rack any more. When they can ride a bike independently.

Am I to let them ride to school, with zero infrastructure, knowing that one "idiot driver" could take them from me?

I agree with Pwake. 1) You can't tell 2) Traffic is a consideration, and you can't tell that from Googlemaps. You sound like the sort of cotton swaddled ninny who is swayed by your fear of risk, rather than calculating risk. Either that, or you really are trolling.

It is down to the parents if they want their children to ride bikes, and it should be agreed by the PTA if the bike sheds can be removed for the benefit of the teachers. Basically, what the head teacher says is nonsense, and an abuse of her powers.

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therevokid [1010 posts] 3 years ago
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it's April 1st ... isn't it ... no ... you have got to be
kidding me ....

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fatty [77 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

You sound like the sort of cotton swaddled ninny who is swayed by your fear of risk, rather than calculating risk. Either that, or you really are trolling.

'You sound like the sort' of person who can't even comprehend or consider other peoples' opinions beyond your own... Can't you put forward your thoughts without accusing another post of trolling, just because you disagree with it?

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paulfg42 [392 posts] 3 years ago
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Incredible. Parents should cause a stink with the governing body.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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Yep, bang to rights, trolling, that's what i'm up to.

(if "trolling" covers "suggesting that what works for me on a road bike, clipped in, doing 30kph on the flat, might not be ideal for little kids, including mine", that is).  3

Or maybe mentioning the "I" word - infrastructure - is enough to get people's bib knickers in a twist?

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Wolfshade [198 posts] 3 years ago
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It is not for the school to mandate if it is safe for pupils to use their bikes outside of school. The extent and limitation of their legal responsibility ends the moment that they pass through the gates.
it seems that the issue here is that the road is "unsafe" for cycling, so surely the sensible option is to instead of banning the bike, or disincentivise them, is to make it safer.
"Won't somebody please think of the children"  3

If there is no dedicated infrastructre, then drop the limit to 20 by the school, after all with darting children (even those not on bikes) it would improve things. Extend the no-stopping zone to aid visibility.

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a.jumper [848 posts] 3 years ago
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Great way to celebrate the tour of Britain visiting nearby Caerphilly!

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OldRidgeback [2760 posts] 3 years ago
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Nobody seems to have commented on the fact that the bloke in the photo is using his phone while cycling, which is a pretty stupid thing to do. Yes, he is on a cyclepath but note that he has a plastic bag dangling from his bars. Ban him from cycling I say.

And before I'm deluged with responses, there is an element of irony in the above comment. Just how much irony you'll have to decide for yourself.

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Phaedrus [14 posts] 3 years ago
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jesus, what a bunch of fucktards.

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David Portland [83 posts] 3 years ago
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My version of Streetview has the school on a residential street, with parking restrictions, traffic calming and a 20mph zone. And most primary-age kids will be on the pavement anyway.

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Matt eaton [741 posts] 3 years ago
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The school cannot ban travel by bike as far as the school gates so I hope that the parents will simply continue to ride with their kids and just find alternative places to lock up (the headteacher's car might be a good place to start looking; just sling a chain around the spokes on their wheels).

Even without being as deliberatly confrontational as I might be there must be gates or lamposts that could be employed as locking points.

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ir_bandito [58 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS!
As a complete opposite, On Tuesday I had a meeting with the headteacher at my son's primary school about promoting cycling to school, and cycling as an after-school activity. I've got her full support, and apparently the Board of Governer's too.

So its not all doom and gloom...

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zanf [912 posts] 3 years ago
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Phaedrus wrote:

jesus, what a bunch of fucktards.

Thats not the collective noun for fucktards  3

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mrmo [2092 posts] 3 years ago
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Wolfshade wrote:

it seems that the issue here is that the road is "unsafe" for cycling, so surely the sensible option is to instead of banning the bike, or disincentivise them, is to make it safer.

From my experience the reason why roads outside schools are unsafe is the parents!

Ban driving kids to school and you will find the road is perfectly safe!

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anewman [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

From my experience the reason why roads outside schools are unsafe is the parents!

Ban driving kids to school and you will find the road is perfectly safe!

Fully agree. Parents have to park right next to the gate, and ignore any parking restrictions or highway code.

I live in the area and if I had kids I'd be uneasy letting them cycle to that school on the road unsupervised, and of course they shouldn't be cycling on the pavement.

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Simon E [3018 posts] 3 years ago
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+1 to what mrmo says IME.

But we're battling powerful vested interests, the sacred bull.

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