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Cycling to school story proves it has legs

Debate rages over the case of the Schonrock kids – but still no official complaint

The debate over whether it’s safe to allow young children to cycle to school unsupervised continues to gather steam.

The case of the Schonrock kids – aged eight and five – has appeared all over the media following the news that their school, Alleyn's Junior School in Dulwich, south London, was considering reporting their parents to social services for letting them cycle to school on their own.

The story has appeared in much of the national print media and on the local BBC news programme.

Even David Cameron has expressed his support for the Schonrocks, according to the Daily Mail

Following the CTC’s comments to road.cc yesterday, Sustrans’ School Travel Director Paul Osborne told Bike Biz, “Parents have the right to decide how their children travel to school; they know the capabilities of their children and should be allowed to act accordingly. If others are unwilling to let their children walk or cycle, our streets clearly need to be made safer.


“The government is rightly concerned about the rise in obesity, traffic congestion, pollution and the stifled lifestyles of children; children should be encouraged to cycle to school, not prohibited.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, told the Telegraph, "One of RoSPA’s key principles is that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible. We believe that children can develop valuable skills for life when they are given opportunities to get out and about to experience risks and learn how to cope with them.

"We encourage children to cycle and advise parents to ensure their children have had some formal cycle training before they are allowed to ride on and near roads unsupervised."

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Southwark Council confirmed to road.cc this afternoon that it has still not been officially approached about the case and the school continues to reserve comment.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

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