Bikes on list of items forbidden to pupils along with knives and drugs
Ashcroft Technology Academy
There have been calls for the Ashcroft Technology Academy on West Hill to reconsider a apparent ban on its pupils cycling to school.
The school’s Academy Rules give a list of items that are prohibited to which includes bikes along with drugs, knives and porn.
Students are not allowed to be in possession of a bike while in uniform or ‘whilst under the control of the academy’.
The stated explanation for the rule is, “Bicycles are not permitted because the Executive Board considers the traffic to be too heavy and the roads around the Academy too difficult to negotiate for young people and therefore pose an increased risk to health and safety.”
The ban came to light after the list was posted on Twitter by Aigars Gedroics, a parent at the school.
The school’s main entrance is close to the A3 on a section that does have a cycle lane.
Councillor Jo Rigby, active travel and transport speaker for the Labour group has written to the council, the school and Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner, requesting an urgent meeting on the matter.
She said on Twitter, “We cannot have bicycles in the same prohibited list as porn, knives & ketamine.”
A spokesperson for the council said, “Wandsworth Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and since then has been working with residents, businesses and institutions such as schools in implementing measures that are beneficial to the environment across the borough.
“For example we run cycle training sessions within schools to encourage active travel and our school streets scheme has been a very positive measure, where we have closed roads to traffic at the start and end of the school day to create pedestrian and cycle only zones. We have a large number of our schools now involved in this scheme – you can read more about it here: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/schoolstreets
“In terms of the decision taken by Ashcroft Technology Academy, it is worth pointing out that because of its academy status Ashcroft’s decisions are made independently of Wandsworth Council. But more importantly the two main roads used to get to the school – Upper Richmond Road and West Hill – are owned and run by Tfl and so any changes to the infrastructure of these roads are down to them.
“In the meantime Wandsworth Council will speak to the school to see if it can help at all on this matter and continue to implement our policies, where we have jurisdiction and control, to meet our climate change commitments.”
The cycling ban for pupils appears to have been in place since the original foundation as ADT College with the associated planning application stating it was the school’s intention not to allow pupils to cycle to school.
Ashcroft Technology Academy has been contacted for a comment.
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September 14, 2021