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Children's Bicycles (Safety)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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4.

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that at three schools in Cambridgeshire on examination of children's bicycles to see if they were roadworthy, 154 out of 181 were found to be in need of attention; and whether he is making any arrangements for similar examinations to take place in other schools in the country so as to avoid the possibility of numerous accidents arising from the use of faulty bicycles.

The periodical examination of children's bicycles at school has been encouraged for many years and the attention of local education authorities has been drawn to the matter on several occasions. I do not consider that any further reminder is required at the present time.

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that in view of the very large proportion of bicycles at these schools which were faulty—and which must needs mean that road accidents are bound to increase, particularly on children arriving at schools—some direction should be given to the education authority? Does not the Minister realise that those figures themselves indicate that the inspections are not sufficiently frequent?

Yes, but the figures indicate that an inspection did take place, and the local authority's attention has been called to the necessity of inspections time and again. Maybe this Question and answer will further emphasise the necessity for them.

Does not the Minister think it would be advisable to ask this authority how it was that so large a proportion of the children's bicycles were in that condition, and whether it was due to the fact that inspection had not taken place in this area?

I should want a little more definition of "out of order" with respect to a bicycle before I was prepared to accept that 154 out of 181 were unrideable.

Will my right hon. Friend tell us if the inspection was carried out by a competent authority?

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the bicycle repair people have facilities to make the necessary repairs to prevent accidents?