Schoolchildren celebrate cycle lane used by thousands on their daily school run

Schoolchildren took their bikes out for an afternoon spin last week to celebrate a bike lane used by hundreds of families on their daily school run.

Families from three Lambeth schools cycled along the Rosendale bike lane together in an after-school event on May 24, organised by parent-led campaign groups, Solve The School Run and Streets for Kids.

The event was a collaboration between Rosendale Primary School, in Rosendale Road, Norwood, Rosemead Preparatory school and Oakfield Preparatory school, both in Thurlow Park Road, Norwood.

The celebration involved an array of bicycles, from balance bikes for the younger cyclists, cargo bikes for young families, to mountain bikes for the more able. 

The event ended in Brockwell Park where the group got together for pictures and biscuits (Picture: Crispin Hughes)

The group made its way along the cycle lane to the soundtrack of S Club 7, Don’t Stop Moving, projected from a cargo bike sound system, and ended in Brockwell Park.

Helen Hayes, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood who joined the event, said: “It’s so important to celebrate what we’ve achieved. 

“It wasn’t always the case that you’d see children cycling to school, but safe infrastructure enables this. These journeys to school will build healthy habits for life. 

“And this is great for children’s health, but it’s also important for a healthy planet.”

The Rosendale cycle lane runs between Brockwell Park and the South Circular Road. It was originally proposed in 2012 but is still unfinished. The remaining stretch, finishing at Park Hall Road, is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Schoolchildren with Helen Hayes cycling along the Rosendale bike lane (Picture: Crispin Hughes)

Despite being incomplete, the cycle lane is used by hundreds of families at school drop-off and pick-up times, with children using it to travel to nearby schools. 

Secondary schoolchildren use it to travel independently to Kingsdale, Charter and Elmgreen, while younger children cycle or are transported in cargo bikes to nearby primary schools like Rosemead, Oakfield, Elm Wood and Rosendale Primary.

Nicola Pastore, co-founder of Solve the School Run, said: “Our school travel data shows us that there are 16,000 primary pupils in Lambeth already travelling sustainably.  

“These families don’t always have time to respond to consultations, to email councillors, or attend council meetings. 

“But catch them on the school run and their support is very clear – families want safe routes to school.”

Pictured top: Schoolchildren cycle along Rosendale bike lane with Helen Hayes (Picture: Crispin Hughes)

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