South London School is Handing Out Number Plates to Curb Bad Cycling

By Tom Pritchard on at

We've all got tales about bad cyclists zooming around the road with no care for the people around them or local traffic laws. If you're like me many of your experiences will involve both unruly children and the odd food delivery person, and one South London school is trying to tackle the former by handing out number plates to children.

Stanley Park High in Carshalton has banned its pupils from cycling to and from school unless they have a number plate on the back of their bike, so that members of the public can report instances of irresponsible cycling that “endangers themselves and others”. According to the head teacher Amit Amin, this isn't a preemptive move, and there have been instances of local students cycling in a way that would make Jeremy Clarkson go "I told you so".

The school's official statement says that this move is to ensure the safety of students and they travel to and from school, with the number plate scheme coming into effect from 1st October, though it's come under criticism from cycling types. Duncan Dollimore from Cycling UK asked why the school wanted to make "cycling to school more difficult", warning such a move could have a negative effect on the number of children going to and from school by bike.

"They should be looking to make active journeys easier and more attractive. Worryingly, this behaviour seems to be part of a trend of head teachers trespassing on parental responsibilities."

Instead the organisation has called on schools to work with local councils to implement 20mph speed limits and traffic calming measures around schools.

While this definitely seems like the school is overstepping its bounds, there is a point to be made about erratic cyclists. If someone is a terrible driver the number plate identifies them should the need arise. If a Deliveroo cyclists nearly knocks you down because they're too busy texting there's nothing to stop them carrying on as if nothing happened. Just a thought. [Standard]