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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.