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News and Comment September 2012

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12 September (Part 1) - Two wheels. How many cranks?

Child cyclingAspiring Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendletons can sign up for cycle training with Bexley council but for the second time in as many months I’ve been emailed with an account of some dissatisfaction with it.

There is a government and London mayor set target for a reduction in the number of children involved in serious biking accidents and Bexley hasn’t been achieving it. The actual numbers aren’t huge averaging one every couple of months, but Bexley’s failure is that there has been no reduction. Last month’s report said that two skilled members of the training team had been dismissed for criticising the programme. As I said at the time, unless you are there and involved it is impossible to know the whole truth but Bexley council has previous for dismissing whistleblowers and one might reasonably add, prosecuting and banning critics. All problems must be hidden from view, it is the way they operate.

The latest criticism reaching me is that young cyclists are allowed out on the road largely unsupervised. The accusation is that at least one trainer admits to not being a cyclist, just someone who has taken a course with little or no practical experience. Perhaps more worrying is the report that trainers can be up to 200 metres from their young charges while riding along with a mobile phone to their ear. Small children have as a result become ‘lost’ and returned home crying.

Without photographs or additional eye witnesses that may be hard to validate but a plea by one concerned parent to others is to request knowledge of any similar reported problems to be sent in via a note on the Contact page - or maybe send the details to the responsible Deputy Director, Mike Frizoni, and merely note that fact on the Contact page. If you don’t do that the complaint will most likely be brushed off as the voice of a ‘lone crank’. No one at Bexley council can be trusted.

The faded photograph is from 1978. The caption from Bexley’s web page.


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