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Last Updated: Thursday December 04 2008 19:28 GMT

Boy stopped from cycling to school

Sam and his dad

Maddy went to meet Sam, to find out more

How do you get to school - by car, bus or what about by bike?

That's what one boy from Portsmouth on the south coast of England really wants to do, but his school has stopped him from cycling in.

His teachers reckon the road outside is too dangerous. Maddy's been to check it out.

"I went to meet Sam at his home. He was dashing around getting ready for school, wolfing down his cereal, packing his bag and squeezing in a few hugs with his dog Dixie.

His mum was making a fajita wrap for his lunch that looked really yummy!!!

Sam showed me his bike. It's blue and has a cool gadget on the front that shows you your speed and how far you've travelled.

He's ridden 108 miles since he got it, so he's definitely an experienced cyclist and the whole family often head out on their bikes at weekends. I could tell Sam really wants to cycle to school.


He told me he gets very bored sitting in the car with his mum, but he enjoys exercise and knows cycling is better for the environment than driving, because of the harmful fumes that petrol releases.

Sam with his bike
Sam just wants to cycle to school

But Sam's head teacher is really worried about him travelling by bike, because she thinks the road outside his school is too dangerous.

I decided to check it out for myself. It is quite narrow and people sometimes park in places they're not supposed to, like on double yellow lines.

There have been a few accidents on the road in recent years too and it can get really busy when lots of parents are dropping their kids off at the same time.

Sam has passed a test to show he knows how to cycle safely on the road so he reckons he's learnt how to deal with any problems he might come across.


I also spoke to the junior road safety team at the school - a group of 10 and 11-year-olds who've been investigating the risks on the road.

The junior road safety team
The junior road safety team

Sam told me they also want to cycle in, but at the moment they agree with the head teacher that it's too dangerous.

Work has started to turn the road into a one-way street and lots of kids reckon that will make things safer.

The school has also promised to have a rethink about whether cycling will be allowed, when the road has been changed.

But even if the road becomes less scary, at the moment the school says there still isn't a secure place to put people's bikes.

Staying safe

Sam reckons they could use a shelter near the entrance though, and turn it into a proper bike shed.

It does seem a shame that Sam is missing out on cycling to school when pupils at other primary and secondary schools do get the chance. But you can also understand the school just wants to make sure all the children who go there stay safe.

It's no wonder this is an issue that 's got people arguing!!!"


Thanks for all of your comments on this story. This topic is now closed, but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

"I don't think you should be stopped from cycling, because it keeps you fit and healthy and it's your choice."

Abbie, 8, Bolton, England

"My school doesn't have a problem with us cycling to school, so I think all schools should let kids cycle. After all, aren't they meant to be encouraging us to stop global warming and be fit?"

Yasmine, 9, London, England

"I think the head teacher has made a point, but if the road becomes more safe, then the children should be allowed to have the right to travel to school by bicycle."

Abbas, 9, London, England

"I think that he should be allowed. My school are currently raising funds to buy a bike shed and the Year 5s are getting cycling proficiency tests."

Mike, 11, London, England

"I think that he should be able to ride his bike to school because my school is on a busy road and we are still allowed to ride our bikes to school!"

Sophie, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"I think cycling to school is great, because it helps the environment and gives you some exercise."

Cara, 10, Essex, England

"My school lets us cycle and some people do, but lots more travel by car so it makes the school really busy!"

Amber, 12, Kent, England

"I think that Sam should be able to cycle to school. They should either put a bike path in or have an adult group that picks the children up and bikes with them to school!"

Chloe, 11, Suffolk, England

"I would say it wouldn't be a very good idea if you live far away from your school, because you could easily get crushed by cars where there are busy roads and there are no traffic lights. But if you live near to your school, it might be a good idea to use a bike, because it would help so much for climate change (you can even walk it!!)."

Stephanie, 10, West Midlands, England

"My school lets pupils use any form of transport, but I think they should ban cycling to school because the road outside our school is so dangerous that we have a bridge for pedestrians."

Ebony, 10, Worcestershire, England

"My school encourages us to cycle to school and be environmentally friendly. I like cycling to school because it's good exercise and enjoyable. I am always careful and have had Bikeability training."

Ruby, 11, Surrey, England

"I think it is really unfair to stop kids doing their bit to stop global warming, if they are really worried about safety they should add a bike lane!"

Eleanor, 12, London, England

"I think people should be allowed to bike to school. Although it may be dangerous, isn't it up to Mum or Dad whether you can cycle to school? My school provides a bike shed to keep bikes and scooters in, but then I do live on a very quiet estate. I don't cycle to school often, but when I do, I love it!"

Francesca, 11, Derbyshire, England

"I go to a little school and we are still not allowed to ride to school. Our school council wants to get cycle paths and it would be great if we could get some."

Ali, 10, East Sussex, England

"I love riding to school and think that others like Sam should be allowed. The school could campaign for a cycle lane to make it safer."

Ryan, 11, Isle of Wight, England

"I really want to cycle to my school, however my school has no cycle sheds. The infant school over the road does have so if I cycle I use them. I don't think a school should be able to ban you from cycling, I think it should be the parents' decision!! My school is really concerned about the number of children that come to school in a car, however they are not trying to help us stop this. A few weeks ago we were banned from bringing sweets into school to share with classmates on our birthdays, as the school now has a healthy eating status. Well if they are really that worried about keeping their healthy status PLEASE PLEASE let us cycle to school."

Adam, 8, Warwickshire, England

"I think people should be allowed to bike to school because it's quicker and gets you fitter. At my school only yr 6 are allowed to bike but only if we have passed our test and we don't do the test until near the end of yr 6."

Alfie, 10, Leicester, England

"I think it should be up to his parents whether he cycles or not. As long as his bike is kept safe and he chooses a safe route, in my opinion, he's fine."

Sam, 13, Somerset, England

"I think that if you're not allowed to park your bikes at school, the local council should build a bike shed near or outside the school so that you can cycle to school and park your bike somewhere safe. It will also cut down the number of cars on the road which will help save the planet."

Lily, 11, Cheltenham, England

"It's really mad! If Sam and other kids want to help the environment then let them. I sometimes cycle to school and they haven't banned me."

Avril, 9, Newcastle, England

"I would like to cycle to school but many of the country roads I would have to cycle along are too dangerous. The Government already encourages farmers to leave a strip of land around the edge of their fields to encourage wildlife, why not include a cycle path as well? This would link fields together and allow cyclists to travel safely without worrying about busy roads."

Bentley, 9, Norfolk, England

"I wasn't taught to cycle, so I don't know much about cycling to school, but I do think that it's a great way to keep fit. However, people should ALWAYS be careful and if the road seems too busy, perhaps they should consider some other form of transport. I DO think, though, that if it's close enough to walk, and you're concerned about the environment (like me!) or want to get fit (ditto!) then surely walking would be the next best thing! I always walk, and I find it pretty rewarding."

Lizzie, 12, Oxfordshire, England

"Our school lets us ride our bikes to school. I love my bike but I live too far away from the school to travel there. We also have a vote every term on who comes by car with a friend, brother or sister, someone else's car, a car on your own, only you and your parent, bus, taxi and even helicopter! Then we see what we would like to come to school on and every term the highest majority is bike!"

Kayna, 10, Lincolnshire, England

"I like riding my bike but my school won't let me put it anywhere."

Alfie, 10, Northampton, England

"There is nothing wrong with cycling to school but maybe they should have more cycle lanes."

Francesca, 10, London, England

"I think you should be able to cycle to school because you get exercise."

Charlie, 10, Birmingham, England

"At my school you are encouraged to cycle to school. You get rewards for cycling to school instead of getting a lift in the car."

Chloe, 13, Manchester, England

"I think that on bad roads outside of schools there should be lollypop ladies or men!"

Thomas, 12, England

"I think that the school should provide a car park for the parents to park their cars; they could raise money for the car park. Although if this is not possible than I agree that walking or driving to school is the best solution for now."

Harriet, 10, Cambridge, England

"This is really silly. After all, aren't teachers meant to be worrying about kids staying fit? Anyway, at my high school kids aren't allowed to go through the car entrance but do it anyway and never get hurt! This is plain stupid."

Jess, 11, England

"I agree with Sam: the whole world is going through global warming and cycling can help and the road is safer. So why not?"

Connor, 11, Trafford, England

"Our school has a really cool bike shed which was put in a while back. In the summer, it's full of bikes, but our school is on the top of a hill so because of all the snow it's now empty!"

Eve, 13, Lancashire, England

"At our school, we are currently having cycling proficiency courses for all the junior classes to help us stay safe while cycling on the road."

Rebecca, 10, Hertfordshire, England

"I think that some roads are too dangerous to ride your bike on. I am allowed to ride on my bike where I live because it is safe. Mind you though, we do have fast cars around the corners so I do have to be careful, I always wear a helmet."

Florrie, 13, Cornwall, England

"My friend asked about cycling to school but he was advised not to because of the busy roads which surround the school. However, he is allowed to cycle with one of his parents."

Charles, 13, Jersey, Channel Islands

"I moved to a new school in September and I was cycling all the time because the new school wasn't close enough to walk to. Soon almost everyone in school was cycling and the school provided a bike rack for all the bikes! I think as long as you're sensible it's cool to cycle to school!"

Izzy, 9, Yorkshire, England

"In my school you can cycle if you live near there, but if you live quite far away it is pretty dangerous."

Michael, 9, Glasgow, Scotland

"At our school, the head teacher lets us cycle but only if we pass a test and get given a cycle permit."

Kai, 10, Hampshire, England

"Where I live there are tons of cycle paths so everyone cycles. Our school has one of the highest cycling rates in the country. But I don't think he should be stopped because it's his choice."

Sophie, 14, Ipswich, England

"I cycle to school every day (nearly 3.5 miles) and I like it, I like to be in charge of when I have to leave instead of keeping on time for the bus. My school doesn't have a problem with it, loads of people cycle."

Ethan, 13, Brighton, England

"You should bike to school because it makes you healthier and it helps the environment."

Selina, 11, Cheshire, England

"I recently passed my Cycling Proficiency so feel pretty confident on the road, but I would be afraid to cycle to my school as there is a busy main road on the journey!!"

Chris, 13, Bedfordshire, England

"I ride my bike to school regularly. It's great fun and it keeps you healthy. I don't see why anyone should be stopped from doing it. After all, schools are always encouraging kids to keep fit."

Sam, 13, Durham, England

"I love cycling to school, it is fun and safe and I don't see why children shouldn't be allowed to cycle to school."

Matthew, 12, Wiltshire, England

"It's stupid. We should be allowed to ride our bikes to school. We are helping the environment!"

Fran, 11, Northampton, England

"I ride my bike to school every day. It is a great idea and I think every school should allow pupils to ride their bike to school!"

Mark, 10, Manchester, England

"Schools and the government are trying to promote a healthier way of living. Why ban bikes when they are healthy, as long as the kid has road sense? I do not agree with this."

James, 12, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think that Sam should be able to cycle to school but it is his and his parents' responsibility to keep him safe."

Megan, 11, Wales