Pupils should be able to cycle safely

First published in Letters

Sir, Wantage Area Schools Partnership (WASP) is right to promote cycling to school, but there is only so much the schoolchildren can do. Surely nobody would deny pupils should be encouraged to walk or cycle for their own independence and social contact, just as much as for cutting pollution and congestion on the road.

Far more important, however, is that they are able to do so in safety, and this is largely out of their hands. Oxford is one of many communities currently looking into studies, signing and road markings to reflect the national The Times campaign for cycle safety.

What is Wantage doing? Cycle routes to the two schools planned at the Grove airfield development are conspicuously absent (as if road access there weren’t already the elephant in the room).

And, staying with animals, whatever happened to crocodiles — primary children walking together to school with their parents?

All those who drive have their part to play in this. If only some of the stream of half-awake commuters driving one per car down Charlton Road each morning towards Didcot would take the bus, life for cycling King Alfred’s East pupils sharing their road space would be far safer.

It is the parents WASP should be talking to — and their councillors.

Geoffrey Brown Charlton Road Wantage

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