Lilly, 3, banned from learning to ride bike in Dagenham street
10:55 28 August 2013
A grandma was told to stop teaching her three-year-old granddaughter how to ride her Barbie bicycle because it is banned under a policy.
Tracy Osborne-Facey was showing little Lilly Lines how to cycle with stabilisers in the quiet cul-de-sac outside her home on Friday, when a housing association officer told them riding bikes was banned.
According to Tracy, it is one of many “over-the-top” rules that housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q) has enforced in Simmons Road, Dagenham, where she lives.
L&Q told the Post a “no balls or bikes” policy was introduced following complaints from residents who believed their homes and cars could be damaged by children playing outside.
Tracy, 43, said: “I could understand stopping ball games maybe, but they’ve basically banned children from playing outside. But it’s not just the children. We adults are not allowed to congregate or talk outside either. I got a letter once telling me off for chatting to a neighbour outside for about 20 minutes.
“Others have received letters too about all kinds of things which they apparently shouldn’t be doing.
“The officer who told me Lilly couldn’t ride her bike said I should expect a letter about it soon. It’s ridiculous.”
Tracy, who works for a children’s charity, told the Post her 11-year-old son Sid stays inside most of the time playing on his XBox games console, to avoid getting in trouble.
“Like most people, I want my kids and grandchild enjoying the outdoors, not cooped up inside watching TV or playing computer games but I understand why he doesn’t want to go out,” she said. “I realise people want to live somewhere peaceful, but the children that play here are all under 12 and not antisocial at all.”
Neighbour and mum-of-four Julie Doughty, 32, said: “I can’t believe they stopped a three-year-old, supervised by her grandmother, from riding a bike. They’re taking things to extreme.”
A housing association spokesman said: “L&Q strives to create places where people want to live but unfortunately due to the concern of the local residents we had to enforce a ‘no bikes no ball games’ policy around the area. We do appreciate this being a difficult issue especially throughout the holidays and the nice weather.”