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Boy barred from riding his bike to school

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.'s founder and first editor, nowadays to be found riding a spreadsheet. Tony's journey in cycling media started in 1997 as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning - finally handing on the reins in 2021 to Jack Sexty. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes, though he'd like to own a carbon bike one day.

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Ruthe | 15 years ago

These kind of stories make me so angry. A school I work with do everything they can to encourage alternative transport but parents ignore it and then complain when their car gets blocked in!
Another campaigned for ages to get the council to put bike lanes along a very busy road, when they did people use them to park on and kids on bikes now need to get around cars as well as cycle on a busy road, no one seems to do anything about it. I considered making some big 'hard to remove' stickers and attacking front windows but the local CSO's would be more likely to tell me off and ignore the 4x4s sat in the cycle lanes. GGRRRR.  14

cactuscat | 15 years ago

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

and why d'you think that is, FFS?

could it be because all the kids get driven there in their individual cars?

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