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Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 15th 04, 03:15 PM
[Not Responding]
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Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

The Nottingham local rag carries the article, below.

The interesting paras say

"Parents and pupils would get to chose bus pass or bike.

Many schools and parents are horrified at the proposals, questioning
whether the children would be safe cycling or catching a public bus to
and from school."

Seems a pretty good idea to me. On the one hand it encourages cycling
(which can never be bad) and on the other it moves the money for buses
into mainstream public buses rather than dedicated school runs.

There are, of course, the usual horrified cries of "cycling! you mean
you want us to murder our children". And outrage at children actually
having to find out what their legs are for.

Full article:

Nottingham's school buses could be axed to save money. The city
council is considering ditching them in favour of pupil bus passes and
cycling to school. But where will it leave the children and how safe
will they be? STEPHANIE BUNGAY reports

School buses have been in use across the country for 60 years,
providing a reassuring service delivering children right to the
schoolgates and back home at night.

Parents have been able to relax in the knowledge their children are
dropped off and picked up safely each day, and that they are excused
the dreaded school run.

But in Nottingham, school buses might soon be a thing of the past.

The city council says they cost too much to run. The bill this year is
2.8m, 800,000 over budget.

It wants to scrap the service, saving 600,000 a year that could be
ploughed back into education.

Under plans being considered by the council, pupils - both primary and
secondary - would instead either be given bus passes or free bikes.

The council's preferred option is to buy youngsters from the age of
nine bikes, the cost of which would be capped. The bikes would then be
returned when the child left school.

Parents and pupils would get to chose bus pass or bike.

Many schools and parents are horrified at the proposals, questioning
whether the children would be safe cycling or catching a public bus to
and from school.

But Coun Graham Chapman, cabinet member for education, said: "Of
course there are going to be people out there who don't like this;
people who say they are going to be worse off or that their kids will
be in danger.

"But what people have to understand is we need to do this. We are
spending too much on our school buses. There is an over-provision."

There are currently 20 school buses carrying 700 pupils attending 15
schools. Of those, 500 are not even entitled to free school transport
and could lose out under the proposals.

A further 1,000 pupils travel by bus using a pass paid for by the
council, though 400 of those are not legally entitled to them and also
could lose out.

Coun Chapman said it was yet to decided whether those pupils not
legally entitled to free transport but who get in anyway would lose it
should the changes be introduced.

He added: "It costs us over 1,000 per pupil a year on a school bus. A
bus pass for the year costs 190. That is a significant saving which
we can put into education in the areas we want."

Free school transport was introduced after the 1944 Education Act
entered the statute books, making it a legal responsibility that
parents made sure their children went to school - and some parents
complained they lived too far from their nearest school.

It is enshrined in law for primary youngsters who live more than two
miles from their local school and secondary pupils who live more than
three miles away.

The council said that the bill for providing school buses had
spiralled since it took over control of education in the city from the
county council in 1998 because of higher fuel costs. The cost is
expected to rise by a further 25% to 30% this year.

Many of the buses are travelling to and from schools half empty.

A council spokesman said: "We had to put a halt to that. It just could
not go on."

But what about the safety of the children and impact on adult bus
users?

Head teachers contacted by the Post were concerned about the plans.

Mike McKeever, deputy head at Trinity School, Aspley, said: "Getting
all our pupils to use public transport would not be acceptable to us
at all.

"To even consider it there would have to be significant improvements
in the provision. I would imagine all the schools would agree with
that."

Mr McKeever added: "Can you imagine large groups of children all
having to walk to one bus stop from different schools?

"We have no problem with our pupils on public buses, but it is not the
same for other schools and there could be all sorts of trouble."

Steve Clarke, schools transport project manager for the council, said:
"I don't forsee us having massive problems. The majority of youngsters
who already get on public transport are well-behaved. Yes, they are
boisterous, but that is all and most people appreciate that."

But he said the council would consider city-centre patrols to make
sure children were getting on buses safely and behaving themselves.

Head of St Patrick's Catholic Primary, Wilford, Nick Benzie said that
he would prefer that school bus service was kept running.

"The good thing about school buses is that they pick children up from
the school gates and drop them off there," he said.

Mr McKeever said he was also concerned about the free bike scheme.
There had already been a number of bikes stolen at his school - but
his biggest worry was safety.

"We just don't have the infrastructure for this. There are no proper
safety routes and we would have children having to take the A610.

"It would be dangerous for many children. We need to look at this
sensibly and think of the safety."

The changes have been drawn up in three stages.

Stage one, which will happen, starts this September, when the number
of school buses will be cut from 20 to 14. The remaining 14 buses will
be changed from double to single deckers.

Stage two, only under consideration, would be to persuade Nottingham
City Transport to put more buses on routes serving schools in the
morning and at going home time.

Barrie Burch, head of NCT, said: "I really can't say what we are going
to do. I have just spoken with the council and need to consider all
the implications.

"This is a serious issue. We can't just put a bus on. They cost over
100,000 and we need to make sure it will be used."

Coun Chapman said: "Stage three would be getting rid of school buses
and issuing bus passes instead and giving out free bikes.

"I like the bikes option. Children need to keep fit and this would be
a great way of doing that."

The council says that though it is considering the stages two and
three changes, nothing is set in stone. But Mr Chapman said that if
they were approved everything would hopefully be in place by September
next year.

Coun Chapman said the council would keep to guidelines set by the
Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents restricting the free bikes to
children over nine, and all safety issues would be considered.

A spokesman for the RoSPA said: "A bike scheme can have a lot of
positive benefits but everything must be done correctly and all the
road safety issues have to be in place. There needs to be safe,
dedicated cycle routes. That is going to be the real test."

On that, Coun Chapman said: "We would look at cycle routes and that is
something we would introduce by working with the schools.

"We would also have to look at providing helmets and reflective pads."

Under the plans children would be given security locks and bike sheds
would be built at schools.

The council is also to appoint a transport plan co-ordinator to work
with schools.

Road safety groups have urged the council to consider pupils' safety.

Simon Collister, from Brake, a road safety charity, which works to
reduce death and injuries on roads, said: "School buses pick up
children at school gates. If these changes mean pupils, particularly
younger ones, had to walk or cross roads to get a bus, it is worrying.

"We would want to make sure that there were proper road safety lessons
for all students

"And we would also press for all roads around schools be a 20mph
zone."

School bus changes: Stage one

From September, the number of school buses serving 15 primary and
secondary schools in Nottingham will be cut from 20 to 14.

The cuts will see:


Two double-decker buses serving St Augustine's Catholic Primary,
Mapperley, reduced to two single deckers


Two double deckers serving Elliot Durham Comprehensive, Mapperley,
replaced by one double decker


Two single deckers serving Bramcote Park Comprehensive and Alderman
White Comprehensive cut to one single decker


Two double deckers serving St Patrick's Catholic Primary and South
Wilford Primary, both Wilford, reduced to two single deckers


Three double deckers serving Bluecoat Comprehensive, Manning
Comprehensive and Trinity School, Aspley, replaced by three single
deckers


Two single deckers serving Emmanuel School, Wilford, replaced by one
double decker


Two double deckers serving St Margaret Clitherow, Bestwood Park,
replaced by one double decker


A double decker serving St Teresa's, Aspley, replaced by a single
decker


A double decker serving St Edwards, St Ann's, replaced by a single
decker


A double decker serving Christ the King, Arnold, replaced by a single
decker


Two buses serving Fairham College, Clifton, axed altogether.

Pointing out potential problems

The council certainly has its work cut out to win over parents and
pupils going by those the Post talked to.

While school buses are expensive, most people think they are the best
option.

Lewis Slater, 15, from Wollaton, rides to school, but he does not
think it is for everyone.

"The good thing about a school bus is it takes you to your home. If
you live far from school you can't get a bike or public transport. It
is too inconvenient. I also think it could lead to fights between
pupils from different schools, and there would be more bullying."

Charlotte Howldsworth, 14, from Bilborough, walks to school. She said:
"I would rather walk than use a bike because I wear a skirt. I don't
think the plans are good at all. If you live far away it is going to
make it difficult to get to school.

"It is not going to be safe for pupils and there will be trouble. You
are better getting on just with kids from your school."

Jennifer Cairney, a mother-of-six from Arnold, said: "I'd like to see
something like the US system of yellow buses dropping kids off at the
end of their streets. My three eldest are having to walk about two
miles to school because there isn't a bus to take them.

"I think it's silly getting kids that young to go on public transport.
What do they do if there's no room on the bus?

"If kids were given bikes most of them would have to go on major roads
and I certainly wouldn't be happy with mine riding on them."

Naran Rathod, parent/governor at Manning School, Aspley, whose
daughter uses public transport to get to school, said: "I think
getting secondary youngsters to use public transport would work, but I
don't think it would be appropriate for primary pupils.

"I really don't think the bikes idea would be good. Road congestion
would put pupils at significant risk.

"There would also have to be an extensive system of cycle tracks to
provide a safe way to school.

"But there are parts of the city which are not adequate or built for
that. This should not be for all schools or all pupils, because there
will be some who physically can't use bikes."

Ads
  #2  
Old May 15th 04, 03:35 PM
Zog The Undeniable
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

[Not Responding] wrote:

The Nottingham local rag carries the article, below.

The interesting paras say

"Parents and pupils would get to chose bus pass or bike.

Many schools and parents are horrified at the proposals, questioning
whether the children would be safe cycling or catching a public bus to
and from school."

Seems a pretty good idea to me. On the one hand it encourages cycling
(which can never be bad) and on the other it moves the money for buses
into mainstream public buses rather than dedicated school runs.

There are, of course, the usual horrified cries of "cycling! you mean
you want us to murder our children". And outrage at children actually
having to find out what their legs are for.

Full article:

Nottingham's school buses could be axed to save money. The city
council is considering ditching them in favour of pupil bus passes and
cycling to school. But where will it leave the children and how safe
will they be? STEPHANIE BUNGAY reports

School buses have been in use across the country for 60 years,
providing a reassuring service delivering children right to the
schoolgates and back home at night.

Parents have been able to relax in the knowledge their children are
dropped off and picked up safely each day, and that they are excused
the dreaded school run.

But in Nottingham, school buses might soon be a thing of the past.

The city council says they cost too much to run. The bill this year is
2.8m, 800,000 over budget.

It wants to scrap the service, saving 600,000 a year that could be
ploughed back into education.

Under plans being considered by the council, pupils - both primary and
secondary - would instead either be given bus passes or free bikes.

The council's preferred option is to buy youngsters from the age of
nine bikes, the cost of which would be capped. The bikes would then be
returned when the child left school.

Parents and pupils would get to chose bus pass or bike.

Many schools and parents are horrified at the proposals, questioning
whether the children would be safe cycling or catching a public bus to
and from school.

But Coun Graham Chapman, cabinet member for education, said: "Of
course there are going to be people out there who don't like this;
people who say they are going to be worse off or that their kids will
be in danger.

"But what people have to understand is we need to do this. We are
spending too much on our school buses. There is an over-provision."

There are currently 20 school buses carrying 700 pupils attending 15
schools. Of those, 500 are not even entitled to free school transport
and could lose out under the proposals.

A further 1,000 pupils travel by bus using a pass paid for by the
council, though 400 of those are not legally entitled to them and also
could lose out.

Coun Chapman said it was yet to decided whether those pupils not
legally entitled to free transport but who get in anyway would lose it
should the changes be introduced.

He added: "It costs us over 1,000 per pupil a year on a school bus. A
bus pass for the year costs 190. That is a significant saving which
we can put into education in the areas we want."

Free school transport was introduced after the 1944 Education Act
entered the statute books, making it a legal responsibility that
parents made sure their children went to school - and some parents
complained they lived too far from their nearest school.

It is enshrined in law for primary youngsters who live more than two
miles from their local school and secondary pupils who live more than
three miles away.

The council said that the bill for providing school buses had
spiralled since it took over control of education in the city from the
county council in 1998 because of higher fuel costs. The cost is
expected to rise by a further 25% to 30% this year.

Many of the buses are travelling to and from schools half empty.

A council spokesman said: "We had to put a halt to that. It just could
not go on."

But what about the safety of the children and impact on adult bus
users?

Head teachers contacted by the Post were concerned about the plans.

Mike McKeever, deputy head at Trinity School, Aspley, said: "Getting
all our pupils to use public transport would not be acceptable to us
at all.

"To even consider it there would have to be significant improvements
in the provision. I would imagine all the schools would agree with
that."

Mr McKeever added: "Can you imagine large groups of children all
having to walk to one bus stop from different schools?

"We have no problem with our pupils on public buses, but it is not the
same for other schools and there could be all sorts of trouble."

Steve Clarke, schools transport project manager for the council, said:
"I don't forsee us having massive problems. The majority of youngsters
who already get on public transport are well-behaved. Yes, they are
boisterous, but that is all and most people appreciate that."

But he said the council would consider city-centre patrols to make
sure children were getting on buses safely and behaving themselves.

Head of St Patrick's Catholic Primary, Wilford, Nick Benzie said that
he would prefer that school bus service was kept running.

"The good thing about school buses is that they pick children up from
the school gates and drop them off there," he said.

Mr McKeever said he was also concerned about the free bike scheme.
There had already been a number of bikes stolen at his school - but
his biggest worry was safety.

"We just don't have the infrastructure for this. There are no proper
safety routes and we would have children having to take the A610.

"It would be dangerous for many children. We need to look at this
sensibly and think of the safety."

The changes have been drawn up in three stages.

Stage one, which will happen, starts this September, when the number
of school buses will be cut from 20 to 14. The remaining 14 buses will
be changed from double to single deckers.

Stage two, only under consideration, would be to persuade Nottingham
City Transport to put more buses on routes serving schools in the
morning and at going home time.

Barrie Burch, head of NCT, said: "I really can't say what we are going
to do. I have just spoken with the council and need to consider all
the implications.

"This is a serious issue. We can't just put a bus on. They cost over
100,000 and we need to make sure it will be used."

Coun Chapman said: "Stage three would be getting rid of school buses
and issuing bus passes instead and giving out free bikes.

"I like the bikes option. Children need to keep fit and this would be
a great way of doing that."

The council says that though it is considering the stages two and
three changes, nothing is set in stone. But Mr Chapman said that if
they were approved everything would hopefully be in place by September
next year.

Coun Chapman said the council would keep to guidelines set by the
Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents restricting the free bikes to
children over nine, and all safety issues would be considered.

A spokesman for the RoSPA said: "A bike scheme can have a lot of
positive benefits but everything must be done correctly and all the
road safety issues have to be in place. There needs to be safe,
dedicated cycle routes. That is going to be the real test."

On that, Coun Chapman said: "We would look at cycle routes and that is
something we would introduce by working with the schools.

"We would also have to look at providing helmets and reflective pads."

Under the plans children would be given security locks and bike sheds
would be built at schools.

The council is also to appoint a transport plan co-ordinator to work
with schools.

Road safety groups have urged the council to consider pupils' safety.

Simon Collister, from Brake, a road safety charity, which works to
reduce death and injuries on roads, said: "School buses pick up
children at school gates. If these changes mean pupils, particularly
younger ones, had to walk or cross roads to get a bus, it is worrying.

"We would want to make sure that there were proper road safety lessons
for all students

"And we would also press for all roads around schools be a 20mph
zone."

School bus changes: Stage one

From September, the number of school buses serving 15 primary and
secondary schools in Nottingham will be cut from 20 to 14.

The cuts will see:


Two double-decker buses serving St Augustine's Catholic Primary,
Mapperley, reduced to two single deckers


Two double deckers serving Elliot Durham Comprehensive, Mapperley,
replaced by one double decker


Two single deckers serving Bramcote Park Comprehensive and Alderman
White Comprehensive cut to one single decker


Two double deckers serving St Patrick's Catholic Primary and South
Wilford Primary, both Wilford, reduced to two single deckers


Three double deckers serving Bluecoat Comprehensive, Manning
Comprehensive and Trinity School, Aspley, replaced by three single
deckers


Two single deckers serving Emmanuel School, Wilford, replaced by one
double decker


Two double deckers serving St Margaret Clitherow, Bestwood Park,
replaced by one double decker


A double decker serving St Teresa's, Aspley, replaced by a single
decker


A double decker serving St Edwards, St Ann's, replaced by a single
decker


A double decker serving Christ the King, Arnold, replaced by a single
decker


Two buses serving Fairham College, Clifton, axed altogether.

Pointing out potential problems

The council certainly has its work cut out to win over parents and
pupils going by those the Post talked to.

While school buses are expensive, most people think they are the best
option.

Lewis Slater, 15, from Wollaton, rides to school, but he does not
think it is for everyone.

"The good thing about a school bus is it takes you to your home. If
you live far from school you can't get a bike or public transport. It
is too inconvenient. I also think it could lead to fights between
pupils from different schools, and there would be more bullying."

Charlotte Howldsworth, 14, from Bilborough, walks to school. She said:
"I would rather walk than use a bike because I wear a skirt. I don't
think the plans are good at all. If you live far away it is going to
make it difficult to get to school.

"It is not going to be safe for pupils and there will be trouble. You
are better getting on just with kids from your school."

Jennifer Cairney, a mother-of-six from Arnold, said: "I'd like to see
something like the US system of yellow buses dropping kids off at the
end of their streets. My three eldest are having to walk about two
miles to school because there isn't a bus to take them.

"I think it's silly getting kids that young to go on public transport.
What do they do if there's no room on the bus?

"If kids were given bikes most of them would have to go on major roads
and I certainly wouldn't be happy with mine riding on them."

Naran Rathod, parent/governor at Manning School, Aspley, whose
daughter uses public transport to get to school, said: "I think
getting secondary youngsters to use public transport would work, but I
don't think it would be appropriate for primary pupils.

"I really don't think the bikes idea would be good. Road congestion
would put pupils at significant risk.


I suppose it depends on the route your child would have to take to
school. I'm big, ugly and aggressive and I would be wary of cycling to
work every day. I do so occasionally but I feel the risk of being wiped
out on the roads I have to use is pretty high - traffic is very heavy, I
have to cross a huge 3-lane roundabout where cars can reach 50mph, and
a cyclist has recently been killed along the route (outside the
Hospital, which would have been quite convenient had he/she only been
injured). Basically, I have to feel lucky and if I don't, I won't do
it. The accident I fear the most is the one I can do nothing to avoid -
the distracted lorry driver on his mobile crushing me from behind (a la
Bruce Bursford). It's supposed to be rare but I've had some incredibly
near misses.

Cycle paths don't help me much. The pavement ones are used as a parking
lot by the local cretins, the surface of most is "technical" and you
have to stop for every side road.
  #3  
Old May 15th 04, 04:20 PM
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

I must admit, I would not have been a happy bunny with Nathan cycling to school
at age nine. Indeed, he didn't cycle to school unaccompanied until the last
year or so. This may be a rural area, but we have a large number of HGVs (most
of which are courteous to cyclists) and being narrow country lanes, you do get
the berks (often yoof behind the wheel of a Nova 1.0, or twit in large 4x4) who
view such roads as their own private rally tracks. Vernon or I cycled with
Nathan until we were satisfied he had developed enough road sense to be able to
cope with cycling alone and be safe with regard to himself and other road
users.

Norfolk, being a rural county, has a large number of kids transported to school
by school bus, as often schools are over 3 miles from home and rural roads have
no footpaths and no lighting to make walking an option to reasonably consider.
I would not have allowed Nathan to walk to & from school - I still wouldn't. I
wouldn't do it myself to his current school.

So I can understand school & parental reluctance to welcome Nottingham's plans
with open arms.

Saying the above - I grew up in a town. I walked to school every day (about a
mile there & a mile back I suppose to grammar school & possibly double that to
junior school). I only had to cross one road en route and that was a quiet
estate road, plus there were footpaths the entire way). Kids who were bussed in
didn't have school buses laid on, they had a local authority school bus pass,
which they had to show to the driver/conductor and were limited to certain
buses at certain times of day. That was the normal way of doing things. This
couldn't happen in my current rural locality as there simply aren't the bus
services to do it. IT has to be LA-provided school bus in this area.

No simple answer to this one, perhaps. Kids need to learn what their legs are
for, yes, but I can completely understand the reluctance of parents too.

Cheers, helen s


















--This is an invalid email address to avoid spam--
to get correct one remove fame & fortune
**$om $

--Due to financial crisis the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off--



  #4  
Old May 15th 04, 05:20 PM
Mark Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

He added: "It costs us over 1,000 per pupil a year on a school bus. A
bus pass for the year costs 190. That is a significant saving which
we can put into education in the areas we want."


Assuming 40 weeks in school and five days in the school week, then that works out at
about 5 a day. Methinks that its more than the cost of fuel that is making it so
expensive...

Charlotte Howldsworth, 14, from Bilborough, walks to school. She said:
"I would rather walk than use a bike because I wear a skirt. I don't
think the plans are good at all. If you live far away it is going to
make it difficult to get to school.


No love, that's a belt not a skirt.

Jennifer Cairney, a mother-of-six from Arnold, said: "I'd like to see
something like the US system of yellow buses dropping kids off at the
end of their streets. My three eldest are having to walk about two
miles to school because there isn't a bus to take them.


2 miiles! That's ridiculous - it'll take 'em at least 10, more like 15 minutes on the
bike, and if they walked it the poor darlings would be battling against the elements for
an entire 40 minutes! Next the schools will be insisting they do some form of physical
exercise in PE!
  #5  
Old May 15th 04, 06:35 PM
Simon Brooke
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

in message ,
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers ') wrote:

I must admit, I would not have been a happy bunny with Nathan cycling
to school at age nine. Indeed, he didn't cycle to school unaccompanied
until the last year or so. This may be a rural area, but we have a
large number of HGVs (most of which are courteous to cyclists) and
being narrow country lanes, you do get the berks (often yoof behind
the wheel of a Nova 1.0, or twit in large 4x4) who view such roads as
their own private rally tracks. Vernon or I cycled with Nathan until
we were satisfied he had developed enough road sense to be able to
cope with cycling alone and be safe with regard to himself and other
road users.

Norfolk, being a rural county, has a large number of kids transported
to school by school bus, as often schools are over 3 miles from home
and rural roads have no footpaths and no lighting to make walking an
option to reasonably consider. I would not have allowed Nathan to walk
to & from school - I still wouldn't. I wouldn't do it myself to his
current school.


When I was six, I was accompanied on my walk to school at least
sometimes. I know this because I can remember asking my mother a
question on one occasion. But I can equally clearly remember that I was
not met at the end of the school day - I was expected to walk home by
myself. Mind you, that was only about a mile. By the age of eight I was
travelling five miles across Edinburgh by public transport, and the
very idea of being accompanied would have revolted me - let alone the
bullying I'd have got in consequence!

Around here, children as young as seven cycle by themselves more than
two miles to and from the village school; one child of six also cycles
but is accompanied.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

The trouble with Simon is that he only opens his mouth to change feet.
;; of me, by a 'friend'

  #6  
Old May 15th 04, 06:55 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

On Sat, 15 May 2004 15:35:46 +0100, Zog The Undeniable
wrote in message 40a62b7d.0@entanet:

I suppose it depends on the route your child would have to take to
school. I'm big, ugly and aggressive and I would be wary of cycling to
work every day. I do so occasionally but I feel the risk of being wiped
out on the roads I have to use is pretty high - traffic is very heavy


And I bet you that much of that traffic is made up of parents of the
sort who are complaining about this policy. The idea of driving more
carefully as a solution to the danger cars pose to their children
simply never occurs to a lot of people. Probably because they are
"above average" drivers, like all the others...

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
  #8  
Old May 15th 04, 07:22 PM
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

When I was six, I was accompanied on my walk to school at least
sometimes. I know this because I can remember asking my mother a
question on one occasion. But I can equally clearly remember that I was
not met at the end of the school day - I was expected to walk home by
myself. Mind you, that was only about a mile.


Yup - I walked to & from school unaccompanied from a fairly young age. Life
isn't like that these days. Whether that's a good thing is entirely a different
matter. Back then there was, at least, safety in numbers as most kids walked to
school - now the kid who walks or cycles can stick out like a sore thumb -
especially in a rural area.


By the age of eight I was
travelling five miles across Edinburgh by public transport, and the
very idea of being accompanied would have revolted me - let alone the
bullying I'd have got in consequence!


Different now, kids are unlikely to be bullied because their parents take them
to school I would suggest, as in many a school it's the norm for kids to be
taken & met by parents. Kids get bullied for all sorts of reasons, but I doubt
that being taken to school by parents figures high on the list these days.

Around here, children as young as seven cycle by themselves more than
two miles to and from the village school; one child of six also cycles
but is accompanied.


When Nathan was that age, his school was in Norwich - 20+ miles away by car. I
wouldn't have let him walk or cycle that distance anyhow. Even a bit older -
there's no way, no how, I'd have allowed him to cycle the 11 mile round trip to
& from school unaccompanied along narrow country lanes with heavy HGV traffic
and cars with drivers who can think it's their own personal rally tracks. Now
he's older, and I'm certain I've instilled in him "road sense", I am happy to
allow him to cycle unaccompanied. And I still get parents thinking I'm nuts to
allow him to do so as a teenager...

Cheers, helen s




--This is an invalid email address to avoid spam--
to get correct one remove fame & fortune
**$om $

--Due to financial crisis the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off--



  #9  
Old May 15th 04, 07:28 PM
Colin McKenzie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:
I must admit, I would not have been a happy bunny with Nathan cycling to school
at age nine. Indeed, he didn't cycle to school unaccompanied until the last
year or so. This may be a rural area, but we have a large number of HGVs (most
of which are courteous to cyclists) and being narrow country lanes, you do get
the berks (often yoof behind the wheel of a Nova 1.0, or twit in large 4x4) who
view such roads as their own private rally tracks. Vernon or I cycled with
Nathan until we were satisfied he had developed enough road sense to be able to
cope with cycling alone and be safe with regard to himself and other road
users.

Isn't Nottingham the city where no-one speeds any more because of
blanket speed camera coverage? That would make their roads a good bit
safer and less frightening to cycle on than average.

I cycled to school from 11. There were no cyclepaths at all, and one
narrow, congested main road. I reckon I'd have been OK at 9, with
training.

And Nottingham won't force anyone to cycle - there'll still be a bus
option.

Colin McKenzie

--
Why believe statistics?
Ignore them and you can believe the damned lies instead!

  #10  
Old May 15th 04, 10:35 PM
Simon Brooke
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Posts: n/a
Default Free Bikes Instead of School Bus (long)

in message ,
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers ') wrote:

When I was six, I was accompanied on my walk to school at least
sometimes. I know this because I can remember asking my mother a
question on one occasion. But I can equally clearly remember that I
was not met at the end of the school day - I was expected to walk home
by myself. Mind you, that was only about a mile.


Yup - I walked to & from school unaccompanied from a fairly young age.
Life isn't like that these days. Whether that's a good thing is
entirely a different matter.


Yebbut - both the road danger and the 'stranger danger' were,
statistically, considerably worse forty years ago. By which I mean,
more kids got killed then than do now.

So the difference is that parents are more paranoid and children are
more mollycoddled, and neither of these things is good.

Viva Nottingham, I say. I think they're taking a courageous and positive
position which will be very good for public health, for the
independence and self-confidence of their children, for the urban
environment and for the atmosphere.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; When your hammer is C++, everything begins to look like a thumb.

 




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