LCC supports parents' right to allow children to cycle to school

Two parents condemned by their children's headteacher for allowing their offspring to cycle one mile to school have received widespread support from fellow cyclists, including LCC and the mayor.

The children, aged 5 and 8, cycle to Alleyn's School in Dulwich along residential back-street footpaths.

The parents say the health benefits and increased maturity it offers the children outweigh the very low risk of harm. 

The children's morning route only crosses one road, which is staffed by a lollipop lady, while they're supervised on the way home from school.

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "One member was quick to point out that Alleyn's was attended by John Forrester, author of the influential books Effective Cycling and Bicycle Transportation, A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers.

"If the current headmaster had been in charge in the 1930s when Forrester attended, he might have set back cycle training practice by 30 years.

Forrester said, "Yes, I attended Alleyn's in 1937 [when he was eight years old. I cycled three miles to school every day."

Outspoken journalist Simon Jenkins expressed many people's disappointment at attitudes to children cycling to school in an excellent article in the Evening Standard."