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Headteacher slams parents who knocked cyclist off bike

Parents insisting on driving into the school against the rules 'endangering children'...

A headmistress has slammed parents who she says caused a cyclist to be knocked off his bike at the school gates.

Andrea Letcher, head teacher at St Monica’s RC High School in Bury Old Road, Prestwich, wrote to parents in the school newsletter, saying that parents were already aware that they were not to drive into the school.

But ignoring the rules, one parent knocked over a cyclist while turning, according to the Prestwich and Whitefield Guide.

Mrs Letcher wrote: “Could we remind all parents who drop off or collect children at the start or end of the school day not to drive into the school entrance gates?

“Our worst fears have been realised because some parents refuse to stay clear of the car park.

“One such parent, on turning their car in the car-park entrance, knocked a cyclist off his bicycle.

“If parents persist on coming onto the car park, staff will take registration numbers and report these to the police.

“It is bad enough a cyclist was hit by a car, it could so easily have been a child.”

Just this summer we reported how safe cycling and walking routes to schools are key to tackling childhood inactivity, according to sustainable transport charity Sustrans’ new chief executive.

Xavier Brice, who took over the role from Malcolm Shepherd in January, said there need to be linked routes from existing cycle networks to primary and secondary school gates and homes so more children can cycle or walk to school.

Recent research from Sustrans shows children spend almost half the amount of time playing that their parents did, and Brice says the rest of the country needs to follow London’s lead in creating a safe cycling network.

Brice, who joined Sustrans from Transport from London (TfL), said: “London has made fantastic progress in building Cycle Superhighways and development of the Quietways network is helping more people to feel confident to get on their bikes and cycle to school or work. The more these routes link up to schools and communities, the more likely children and their parents will choose to leave their cars at home and walk or cycle.

“Parents today are the first generation of computer gamers, yet our research shows that children play outside almost half as much as their parents did and more time playing on computer games or mobile devices. We know that inactive children are much more likely to be inactive as adults and this puts them much more at risk of developing chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease in later life.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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