Sunday, 10 September 2017

SRS in the London Cyclist

A version of this post first appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of London Cyclist, the magazine of the London Cycling Campaign.

Women and Cycling: The impact of the School Run

Currently, the biggest killer of children aged 10-18 in the UK is road traffic incidents. Parental fears around road safety are not unfounded.
If it isn’t safe for children to get to school independently, parents’ lives end up revolving around school pick-up and drop-off times, adding to stress levels in already busy lives.   
Schools do need to do all they can to work with their communities to make their local areas safer for cycling.  I’m extremely fortunate to work supporting schools in Southwark; we have a fantastic school travel team, a supportive borough group and a council that is looking to develop its cycling infrastructure.  I’m also proud of the work of our Safer Routes forum and our collaborative achievements across the nineteen or so schools we represent.
I would love to say that our council has been bold enough to push for ‘School Healthy Streets’ as we have seen emerging in Camden in Hackney, but for now we have to look on admiringly at the hard work and dedication put in by all involved to create safer walking and cycling routes for the families at those schools.
We are far, far more fortunate than many schools in London.  We have a fantastic traffic free cycling route passing with a few metres of our school, which many of our families use to get to and from school. However, it is terrifying that a ‘healthy’ school run remains a matter of luck and we must do all we can to work together to ensure safe, connected cycle routes exist across the capital.

Amy Foster, Southwark Healthy Schools Champion and chair of the Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School forum.
A Bessemer Grange family riding to school. Photo credit: Leo Shum