Peer pressure hits Hucknall school’s safe cycling campaign

PEER pressure among young people has proved a big obstacle in a school campaign to encourage safe cycling, a meeting of Hucknall Partnership Group was told this week.

Jackie Heath, deputy headteacher at Hucknall National Church of England Academy, said pupils thought it was not ‘cool’ to wear helmets or have lights on their bikes.

“I think parents as well as schools have a role to play in changing this attitude,” she added.

The academy launched its campaign after two of its pupils, 15-year-old Harrison Carlin and 12-year-old Jeffrey Townley, were killed in accidents while riding their bikes last year.

A report to the meeting from Sergeant Simon Scales, of the Hucknall police, stated that officers were still promoting cycle safety and planned to distribute 200 sets of bike lights to local children in the spring and summer.

However, people at the meeting claimed that young people ‘all over Hucknall’ had been seen riding bikes in a dangerous and irresponsible manner.

Bob Gow, of Hucknall Safer Neighbourhoods Committee, said there had been examples of this in the town’s Station Road and Tesco Express superstore area.

Sheila Robinson, secretary of Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group, told of a hair-raising encounter with one young cyclist.

She said she was driving on Park Drive, near Hucknall Titchfield Park, when the cyclist stood on his pedals in the road as if encouraging her to ‘come on’ and knock him down.

Maurice Foster, of Hucknall Probus Club, thought it was vital to discourage children from listening to music on head-phones while riding their bikes.