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Student cycling to school knocked off bike after being hit by parent driving a car, suffers minor injuries

The headteacher has urged parents to avoid driving and dropping children in front of the school after the “shocking” incident

A child cycling to school in Bristol suffered minor injuries and was left “shocked” after being knocked off the bike by a parent driving to drop their kid, and the headteacher is now urging parents to not drop their kids directly in front of the school gates.

The incident happened last week at the junction of Redland Green Road and Redland Court Road, as the student was cycling to Redland Green School in the morning. A parent was driving up to the school to drop their kid, but ended up hitting the child on bike.

The student came off the bicycle and has suffered minor cuts and grazes.

Ben Houghton, headteacher at the school said that the road which leads up to the school is narrow and should not be used by parents dropping off and picking up children.

Bristol World reported that Houghton wrote a letter addressing the parents of students at Redland Green School: “Unfortunately, before school earlier this week we had an incident where one of our students was knocked off their bicycle by a parent in a car. This occurred on the junction of Redland Green Road and Redland Court Road. Fortunately, the student is unharmed beyond cuts and grazes but nevertheless it was shocking for them and those who witnessed it.

“I would like to stress that Redland Court Road should not be used to drop off or pick up your children. It is narrow, has limited visibility and at peak times is very busy with our students walking and cycling to school. We would suggest that if you decide to drive your child to school you drop them off by the on-street parking near Redland Green Park or further along Redland Green Road.”

> Councils across England ignoring government advice to roll out School Streets

The incident comes as Bristol City Council continues to roll out ‘school streets’ where vehicles are banned outside schools at the start and end of the school day, with walkers and cyclists taking priority.

Redland Court Road and Redland Green Road junction, Bristol

Redland Court Road and Redland Green Road junction, Bristol (Google Maps)

So far, school streets have been introduced seven schools in the city — and four more should be getting the zones in September this year.

School streets are areas which restrict motor vehicles outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times and apply to both school and through traffic, while typically continuing to permit access for people living there. They also aim to encourage children to cycle, scoot, or walk to school.

Despite the initial hesitancy, the road safety initiative has been taken up in England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. Research from Sustrans showed that school streets resulted in a traffic reduction of eight per cent, with 90 per cent parents and residents saying they would support a street closure regularly outside the school.

In fact, children and parents took to the barricades last year in a bid to prevent their ‘school street’ being ripped out by the pro-motoring mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman, who had earlier been removed from the post after being found guilty of electoral fraud and “corrupt and illegal practices” in 2015.

> Mum compares school run to “going into battle” as Sustrans calls for School Streets to be introduced in Northern Ireland

In other news, Reading Borough Council approved a trial scheme to close Crescent Road between its junctions with Wokingham Road and Bulmershe Road to be made permanent, as part of a School Streets programme for three nearby schools, Alfred Sutton Primary School, UTC and Maiden Erlegh School.

Cllr Rob White, leader of the opposition and Green party member for Park ward, said: “It’s great seeing young people walking down the middle of the road unimpeded by cars, which used to be fairly common for residents to raise.

“The congestion in Crescent Road was so bad that car were mounting the pavement and driving along and there were some very close calls, so it’s really positive to see the change.”

> Calls for safe infrastructure after Bristol cyclist killed in lorry crash

Meanwhile, Bristol’s Green Party Councillor Christine Townsend has criticised the Council’s Labour leadership for not prioritising school streets “where they are most needed”.

She said: “The community schools remaining on Bristol’s school streets waiting list, educate local children, many in areas of deprivation.”

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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13 comments

Avatar
mitsky | 8 months ago
2 likes

Lets not forget this incident involving a school run of about 700 metres.
https://youtu.be/R-dp-G6W8Jk

Avatar
peted76 | 8 months ago
2 likes

Limiting drivers entitlement to drop off their precious little darlings on the school run seems like such an easy problem to solve.. and might encourage a lot less traffic and stress for everyone if we encouraged journeys of less than two miles to be done via active travel (e.g. with a stick not a carrot). 

Surely it's a low hanging fruit win win win all round.. if only.

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 8 months ago
8 likes

No joke, but an incident like this happened in a school close to where I used to live in N London - a child was knocked off their bike by a parent dropping off their child. And what did the school do? You guessed it - they banned cycling to school. I don't know if that 'policy' was ever revoked (it was a few years ago now) but at the time it was a real ffs moment.  

Avatar
brooksby | 8 months ago
8 likes

Given that there were injuries, did the school - or anyone else - report this incident to Avon & Somerset police?  After all, the motorist was driving a car which has a registration plate (so is easily identifiable) and, let's face it, I'd bet that person was known to the school staff and to other parents anyway...

Avatar
Ride On | 8 months ago
9 likes

Riding on the road between 7am - 9am and 4pm and 6pm is the pits.

Avatar
mctrials23 replied to Ride On | 8 months ago
7 likes

It really is. I avoid it if I can because the traffic is awful, people intentionally make it harder for me to use the side of the road despite there being plenty of room because they don't want a cyclist getting ahead of them. 

Parents on the school run going to pick up their little darlings are the worst as well. Extra points if you have a wankpanzer because then you truly don't have to obey any of the rules of the roads. Poor little Timmy couldn't possibly walk for 2 minutes. 

Avatar
Mungecrundle | 8 months ago
19 likes

But you just know that the depressing take home message for many other parents will be that they are negligent if they allow their child to walk or cycle to school and that more thought should go into making sufficient parking spaces available.

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HoldingOn | 8 months ago
24 likes

I have to admit, I am surprised this is the first news article like this I have read on here. (I'm sure there have been others, but I am reasonably new!)

As bad as drivists are most of the time, in my experience, all bets are off during the school run. It's like Wacky Races. Complete disregard for any form of road markings or common sense. I've seen parents completely block off the road, parked at a bus stop, just so they don't have to get out of their car to watch their child the last 10metres in the school door.

Hope the little one is alright and hopefully (as ktache also says) they get back on their bike.

Avatar
HoarseMann replied to HoldingOn | 8 months ago
10 likes
HoldingOn wrote:

It's like Wacky Races. 

The worst I used to see was a particular Mum, who had a kid at the primary school, but had moved out of the area and the school was massively over subscribed, there wasn't a space for the sibling, so they were given a place at another school nearer their home.

But instead of moving the kid already in school to the new school near their new home, her "protest" at this situation was to drive like a lunatic getting between the two schools 6 miles apart. I witnessed her actually laying down rubber, wheel spinning past the school entrance and driving off at speed with kids walking about. Disgraceful.

Avatar
Brauchsel replied to HoldingOn | 8 months ago
6 likes

Similar experience here on parental driving. My daughter's primary school has had cameras installed to fine people driving on the road to the school gates. Now, motorist parents park on the double-yellows just before that road, massively reducing the width and visibility on a busy road for cycle commuters and kids riding to school. Someone, probably a child, is going to get hurt soon. 

This is in central(ish) London, and I could lob a stone most of the way across the catchment area. I'm sure some parents are dropping kids on their drive to work (not that that's really necessary given London's public transport), but I know for a fact that some aren't and they just think that a mile-long journey should be made by car. 

Avatar
SurreyHiller replied to HoldingOn | 8 months ago
13 likes

The panic that went through the playground a week or two ago when a parking warden was spotted outside the school!   Suddenly the queue emptied as everyone rushed back to park their cars properly...

 

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HoarseMann replied to SurreyHiller | 8 months ago
3 likes

Is it illegal to impersonate a traffic warden? Just curious. 

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ktache | 8 months ago
24 likes

I hope this doesn't affect the little cyclist's desire to cycle.

Good on the head teacher, other stories on here seem to be about the Head banning the cycling...

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